Successful Advanced Referee Camp offered by CDSRA

Photo credit: CDSRA and SKP – Event Video & Photography

On the weekend of February 18-19, over 70 referees from all over the province met for the 2023 Advanced Referee Camp, organized by Calgary District Soccer Referee Association (CDSRA). This event was the first one of its kind since 2019.

The Calgary District Soccer Referee Association (CDSRA), in partnership with Calgary United Soccer Association (CUSA), Edmonton Minor Soccer Association (EMSA) and Calgary Women’s Soccer Association (CWSA), along with Alberta Soccer and Calgary Foothills Soccer Club as technical partners, developed this opportunity for both new and experienced referees from across our province to come together and learn about the professional aspects of soccer in both Alberta and Canada.

According to Layne Greenway, National List Instructor with Canada Soccer, “with more than 70 referees of varying experiences, getting together to engage and learn about different aspects of officiating, the energy from the group was tremendous throughout the weekend.”

He added that “the on-field and gymnasium sessions reflected the same enthusiasm as the officials experienced a variety of drills and exercises they can use to develop, regardless of their experience. It was by far one of the most successful development opportunities I’ve seen in the province.”

Canada Soccer Manager of Refereeing Isaac Raymond. Photo credit: CDSRA and SKP – Event Video & Photography

In the words of CDSRA President, Rebecca Paquette, “we were able to pool from our excellent Alberta instructors while also bringing in national instructors. CDSRA is incredibly proud that we were able to offer Alberta referees the opportunity to work with some of Canada’s best. Throughout the camp, we focused on the mental and physical aspects of the game, allowing participants to improve their refereeing techniques on many fronts.”

Sheena Dickson, former FIFA Referee and National List Instructor with Canada Soccer, said “it was an amazing weekend. We saw a common goal of getting education and making themselves better referees for the province. Referees were spongeous, they took everything in and helped create a great atmosphere.”

CSDRA Secretary and Canada Soccer NextGen referee, Harsimrit (Sim) Lakhyan, confessed that “to have 4 of our own national instructors lead the camp was incredible as we are able to access the best of the program at home. They have so much knowledge and experience to share and it is rare to have them in one place. Learning from them was a special experience.”

Former FIFA Referee Sheena Dickson. Photo credit: CDSRA and SKP – Event Video & Photography

Attendees emphasized the importance of having both classroom and field sessions. According to David O’Neill, Alberta Soccer Manager of Referees, “classroom education is important, because it gives you the foundation. Field instruction is also crucial, as in terms of being a successful referee, they probably learn more on the field.”

For Sheena Dickson, “we had lots of fun in the classroom, and the field sessions could not have went any better. Referees were extremely receptive.”

Harsimrit (Sim) Lakhyan added that “attending a camp like this is a great way to further develop as a referee. It is a weekend where you focus on your craft, expand your tool kit, and receive high level practical education to support your career. The sport specific instructors coupled with psychology sessions and gym or and field sessions target multiple aspects of referee performance all in one weekend.”

This important initiative led by CDSRA will play an important role in building referee capacity in Calgary and Alberta, as professional soccer continues to grow in Canada.

Photo credit: CDSRA and SKP – Event Video & Photography