Twenty Referees’ Academy students, amongst them five females, attended this year’s three-day Weekend Live-In organised by the Malta FA Refereeing Department at the Seashells Resort at Suncrest in Qawra between 8th and 10th January.
A brief introduction by Referees’ Development Officer Kevin Azzopardi was followed by an interesting presentation by MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo on Mental Toughness and Quality Referees. Assistant Referees’ Specialist Philip Agius was the next speaker dealing with Effective Teamwork between Match Officials.
On Saturday morning, Football Nutrition Specialist Dorianne Caruana Bonnici shared her expert advice on Nutrition for Performance, while MFA Director of Refereeing Adrian Casha’s delivery focused on Free Kick Management.
A practical session was held at the Sirens Stadium followed by attendance to the Division 1 League match between derby rivals Senglea Athletic and St George’s at the Centenary Stadium. The second day was wrapped up with Academy Project Leader Paul Caruana highlighting the necessary steps to be followed when delivering a pre-match talk.
Sunday morning started with Mass at the Qawra Parish Church, followed by a Laws of the Game Quiz led by Kevin Azzopardi, who also animated a detailed analysis of Saturday’s match together with the referee of the match, Emanuel Grech.
The weekend was brought to an end with an inspirational talk by wheelchair basketball coach Noel Aquilina, who discussed with participants what the society perceives as normal and disability. His emphasis on making the impossible become possible and our appreciation of a person’s ability were undoubtedly two positive messages that left the attendees with food for thought.
In his conclusion, Adrian Casha encouraged the Academy Students to make the best of the opportunities that will come their way through refereeing.
Referees’ Academy students meet every Saturday morning until April, after which they graduate as referees at Grassroots’ level.