Make your mark, become a referee

PUBLISHED: May 3, 2010

Western Province Rugby Referees’ Society is inviting high school scholars to sign up for the first-ever Schools’ Assistant Referee training camp to be held Jan Kriel School, Kuilsriver from 14 – 18 June 2010.

‘There is a shortage of trained referees and touch judges across South Africa and we in Western Province are determined to do something about,’ says WP Referee Manager Ben Theron. ‘Our goal is to take scholars from 15 years old and educate them in the art of touch judging and, in time, refereeing. These graduates will then be able to render their services within their school structures, our goal is to ensure that every match official at every game is trained and competent.’

Two camps are to be held during June, the first from the 14th to 16th and the second from the 16th to the 18th at Jan Kriel School in Kuilsriver at a cost of R400 per person. Students will receive lectures from current National and Provincial Panel referees and be taken through the same International Rugby Board-approved training materials as touch judges and referees around the world. In addition to writing the SA Rugby Union’s National Referee Examination, scholars will receive detailed briefings on specialised positional play by several Stormers and Springbok players. All theoretical sessions will be followed by on-field practical training.

Jan Kriel is an outstanding venue and one where the facilities and security are of the highest standard. All attendees will be expected to stay in during the programme.

‘Western Province and Boland have a strong rugby culture but many players never think of refereeing as a potential sport. The advent of professionalism on the playing front has also opened officiating as a potential career for someone who may not be able to make it as a player. South African referees have made their mark on the international stage: André Watson remains the only referee to have blown the whistle in two Rugby World Cup finals and WP’s very own Jonathan Kaplan was the first match official to reach the 50-Test landmark. I’m hoping that future international referees may just begin their career at one of our two programmes this year,’ concludes Theron.

For more information and booking forms – space is limited on both programmes – contact Ben Theron by email on btheron@wprugby.co.za or telephone 021 659 4502, registrations closes 21 May 2010.