The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
RUGBY referees as well as Coaches of Match Officials (CMOs) drawn from across Africa are following a series of online workshops run by Alain Rolland, the high-performance 15s match official manager for World Rugby.
This resourcefulness is aimed at upskilling match officials in the key focus areas of the game with the programme will run for over two months. So far eight Zimbabwean match officials have benefited from the online workshops.
With 42 participants (including 11 women), the English-speaking group, comprised of Botswana, Ghana, Lesotho, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, kicked off on 19 May. The French-speaking cluster, with 35 participants (including eight women) from Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Senegal and Tunisia, began its first session on 21 May.
According to Mudiwa Mundawarara, Rugby Africa referee manager, the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions that it has brought, has meant that the continental governing body has had to resort to the use of technology.
“This will very much be the case going forward and will enable us to take such development initiatives more widely than just to the Rugby Africa Panel. Noteworthy, has been our insistence on the inclusion of women for these workshops. The numbers are still low, but this is a start. We hope to address this through development initiatives aimed specifically at women match officials,’’ said Mundawarara.
Each group will hold seven one-hour sessions every two weeks. Rolland, engages with the audience online via the Zoom platform by presenting videos on various phases of the game.