BRADENTON, Florida – Twelve referees from around the Concacaf region have been in Bradenton, Florida taking part in the Concacaf Program of Refereeing Excellence (PORE) in what has been another successful three-week course for attendees.
The referees had daily on-field training sessions, classes, fitness tests and also enjoyed the opportunity of refereeing in the recently completed Concacaf Boys’ Under-15 Championship.
Overall, it was an invaluable experience for all those who attended.
“In a broad sense, PORE has allowed me to see and understand the game of football with a new perspective,” said Brad Doubroughof Canada. “It has given me opportunities to perform at the highest levels, in large part thanks to the tools that this program has provided me. It has also helped me find new solutions to everyday problems that referees experience both on and off the field.”
While PORE has provided an excellent foundation for professional improvement for all the referees, there was also an aspect of persona growth for the 12 attendees.
“Thanks to the work done in PORE, I arbitrated the final of one of the main leagues in my country,” said Melvin Herreraof Honduras. “Thanks to that, I have been able to demonstrate my potential inside and outside the pitch. It has helped me to be a better person, to understand the attitudes of the players, technicians and to know how I should act when conflict situations arise or that can bring me problems within the pitch.”
For Kwinsi Williamsof Trinidad and Tobago, there was also a strong sense of community shared by the attendees.
“I learned a lot, everything from interacting with players, interacting with players who speak Spanish. It’s a real family at Concacaf. The treatment is wonderful. You are interacting with referees from other parts of the world and there is a family atmosphere in how we eat together, share experiences and help each other improve,” said Williams.
Without question, the referees who are finishing up their three-week program are returning to their home countries with a deeper level of enthusiasm for the game.
“PORE gives referees the opportunity to see the highest levels of refereeing, understand the necessary steps to get there, provides the tools and helps nurture officials abilities; both mentally and physically, to reach the highest levels. This commitment only makes my passion for the game, and refereeing grow stronger,” concluded Doubrough.