Feb 17, 2014, 10:06 AM
The first national referee course organised by CAVB under the presidency of Yunusa Barry in The Gambia concluded on Monday 27 July 2015 in Banjul, with the participation of 19 referees.
The five-day programme conducted by FIVB instructor Jaouad Berrada (Morocco) followed up on a similar course implemented in August 2014 with instruction by CAVB international referee Bai Dodou Jallow (Gambia).
The course was focused on practical and theoretical training in refereeing, with the objective of enabling participants to run grassroots activities within Gambia’s volleyball circle.
The course ended with an examination session with 95% passes.
Speaking at the closing ceremony held at B.O. Semega Janneh Hall at Serrekunda East, Alfusainey Jarju, director of Olypafrica Centre in Serrekunda East, thanked the course instructor for a “job well done”.
Participants have a big challenge as they are starting a new life and career, he pointed out, saying the GVBF executive now depends on them.
Mr Jurju said the course is expected to be the beginning of a new era, saying if they (referees) all give their hearts to the executive “the problem of refereeing will be a thing of the past”.
He advised referees to be loyal to the executive, saying refereeing is a career and not a hobby.
He urged them to start their refereeing at their various clubs and be open to constructive criticism from the people.
The current executive have taken volleyball to another level within a year, Jarju said, while urging participants to share the knowledge gained from the course with their colleagues as well as encourage friends to join volleyball.
With the collective efforts of athletes, referees and the executive the sport will keep on flying, he said, noting that his dream is to see volleyball overtaking football in The Gambia.
Momodou Demba, Development Officer at the Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC), in his remarks, described refereeing as a noble profession. He also said that refereeing is not an easy task.
“God will judge you on whatever game you conduct and as such do it to the best of your ability,” he cautioned referees, saying: “We want to see our referees, especially the female, travelling all over the world officiating games.”
He urged them to have the laws of the game and be able to interpret it.
He also called on them to play in the school system to develop their skills as it is the best way to train themselves.
Mr Demba has also tasked them to be very much vigilant and read the law books thoroughly.
He congratulated as well as urged them to keep the game of football progressing in the country.
Jaouad Barrada, the FIVB course instructor, for his part, said organising courses for referees and coaches is very important for the development of volleyball.
Mr Barrada, a Moroccan national, said many factors contributed to the success of the course, adding that they included the “very good conditions” offered by the federation, good theoretical sessions, equipment, court for practical session, the discipline of referees and their motivation, hard work, among others.
He also stated that in a few years to come, some of the referees who underwent the course can be international referees, saying now that the referees have the foundation they would have to put it into practice. “This is because if they do not practise in 5 to 6 months’ time everything will vanish,” he said.
Yunusa Barry, president of the Gambia Volleyball Federation, said the course exercise has been registered in the annals of The Gambia’s volleyball history.
He further described the passes registered by the referees as a big achievement for the federation, but challenged them also, saying they have started a journey of injecting all the skills, knowledge and passion they know about volleyball.
“You have taken a very challenging and noble profession,” he told referees, saying they can be successful provided they judge fairly.
The referees are now “properties of GVBF and do not belong to clubs anymore”, he said, urging them to now see themselves as neutral people, judges and decision makers in the interest and development of volleyball in The Gambia.
“I am very much inspired by the look on your faces,” he further said, adding: “I have realised potentials and seen positivity in you in trying to promote and take volleyball to the doorsteps of every Gambian.”
Barry said he was proud to see a female participant emerging among the best referees, adding that it is a clear manifestation that the federation has injected positive change in taking volleyball to another level.
He urged them to go back to their various communities and regions and start work immediately.
In concluding, he expressed appreciation with CAVB for facilitating the course and sending them an experienced instructor.
He also recognised the support of the Gambia Government as well as the Gambia National Olympic Committee and his executive members.