FRANCISTOWN: Sixteen junior football referees have been given a platform to officiate football games at the ongoing Botswana Games. Fedion Tabengwa, who is the mentor of the young referees from the Zwenshambe Junior referees development academy, said the referees are fresh from receiving their first refereeing certificates.
He also heaped praise on his students for their performances at the games.
“These youngsters recently passed and graduated with certificates in preliminary refereeing. We had an instructor who came here two weeks ago to teach and test them and they did well.
We will walk along with them step by step until they reach their heights in this profession.
The good thing is they have developed love for what they do and they usually enjoy the practical part, when they are in charge.”
“From my observation, they are doing a magnificent job and everyone is supportive. Well, they make mistakes but we sit down with them to analyse their challenges and mistakes.
These guys are used in the whole Central District in as far places as Mahalapye and Palapye. They don’t start here. BFA has been very supportive, assigning us whenever referees are needed,” he said.
Tabengwa added: “Refereeing is a profession that requires discipline. Therefore it helps these youngsters to be on their best behaviours at all times, and it has also helped them take care of themselves in different ways.
In many occasions, they get remunerated for their work and they are enjoying themselves.” Botswana Games Football Convenor, Tshepo Mphukuthi said referees like players must be developed from a young age.
“As much as we develop players we must also develop referees at a tender age so that they grow in the profession.
Development of referees has worked for us before and it has worked well, now we have good referees in the elite league who have passed through development.
“I am impressed with these young boys and girls.
We have not received protests in any games, of course they make mistakes here and there but they are normal mistakes and the response we got from the teams is positive. Overall they have been brilliant.
We have put an eye on them, the best will take charge of the final,” he said.