(January 20, 2018) On February 1st, Alberta Soccer will open registration for its female-focused referee education pilot program – Create Your Advantage. This free program is the first female-only, female-led refresher and development opportunity in the province, outside of the annual Women in Soccer Conference (WISC).

“Prior to every indoor and outdoor season, referees in Alberta are required to attend a refresher course to be considered an eligible official. These refresher courses are traditionally hosted by districts, and open to all referees,” said Dave O’Neill, Referee Development Officer, Alberta Soccer. “We’re pleased to build upon the existing education program for Alberta officials and to provide this unique opportunity for female referees in our province.”

Female leaders will instruct the mandatory refresher course for half of this full day program. While the content will not be unique to women, the objective is to offer the material for women and girls in an environment where they may feel more empowered to ask questions and therefore gain insight from the more experienced female leaders.

After a complimentary lunch, the second portion of the day will include a development session with a focus on game management. Recognizing that there is much more involved in being a successful referee than simply ‘knowing the rules’, this session will provide insight into the various tools and techniques involved in ‘managing’ a game. Topics in this interactive session will include: positioning, body language, voice and whistle techniques, foul selection and game temperature.

The Create Your Advantage Pilot Program is the second of two projects that were selected as part of the Alberta Women in Sport Leadership Impact Program, a 2.5-year initiative being offered by the Coaching Association of Canada and Alberta Sport Connection – and it’s being offered at no cost. This program is part of a larger project being funded by the Status of Women Ministry, and intended to advance gender equality and leadership diversity in sport organizations in Alberta.

If you’re interested in learning from and alongside other females with similar experiences and helping to create a strong network of female officials, stay tuned for more information. Female officials will receive registration details from the referee department prior to referee registration opening on February 1st.

Saturday, April 14th
Leduc Recreation Centre

Sunday, April 15th
Mount Royal University

Alberta Soccer and its Development of Women in Soccer Committee is excited to offer the Create Your Advantage program in conjunction with the annual Women in Soccer Conference. The conference will take part in Calgary on April 14 and Leduc on April 15, with the Create Your Advantage components being held either the day before (in Leduc) or the day after (Calgary) – reducing the travel expenses for women who wish to attend both. Visit the Women in Soccer page for more details about the conference