Local referees blessed by youth

In
spite of recent negative news about the youth, local football is fortunate to
see many young Caymanians doing more than just playing the game.

The
latest example of that fact is the Cayman Islands Football Association’s
reigning female player of the year Shenel Gall now becoming a certified referee
and an official member of the Cayman Islands Referees Association.

Gall,
just 18 years-old, responded to an appeal from the referee association for
persons to participate in week-long training for referees by the association
and was successful after doing the final exams.

She
formed part of a group of twelve successful participants ranging from age forty
to seventeen who sat the final exams. The names of the other successful
candidates are Jon-Andrew Japal, Levi Allen, Alexis Reve, Ramon Sealy, Emanuel
Brown, Cody Ebanks, Niall Boyle, Lonut Bordieanu, Carline Reid and Justin
Hurlston. Among that group Sealy stands out as another young person who also excels
on the pitch (mainly in goal for Bodden Town football club).

President
of the referee association Alfredo Whittaker was more than happy to see the
amount of participants who responded to the course, especially the women who he
pointed out were the easiest ones to make it on the FIFA list if they are
serious about the officiating.

“I
am pleased with the turnout of participants,” Whittaker said. “I am impressed
by the women who came forward but most impressed with Gall’s effort. I am
really looking forward to work with her doing the practical aspect of the
course and I am predicting that she will be the Cayman Islands first and
youngest female FIFA Referee.

“She
demonstrated profound interest throughout the course, with the passion that she
has for the game of football it is inevitable that she will excel and become
the first born Caymanian female to officiate at the highest level
internationally. She is young and vibrant she has the space and freedom to
reach to the highest heights and I am committing myself to help her get
there.” 

Gall
is currently the leading goal scorer in the women leagues and also a national
representative of the Senior Women’s team. She received the prestigious award
of Female of the Year for two consecutive seasons and is in line for her third.
She successfully completed a FIFA Youth Coaching Coarse recently as well. Gall,
by joining the ranks of the Cayman Islands local referee association, has gone
through the gate to become a referee on the FIFA International panel of
referees.

Sixteen
persons responded to the recruitment of referees including a thirteen year-old
boy. The course began May 18, 2010 at the George Town Primary School.

Without
a referee a football game makes no sense as they perform a significant role in
such a global sport. Their presence in the game is to ensure safety, fairness,
equality and enjoyment. With the growth in football’s popularity, particularly
among women and youth, the demand for these officials is always increasing.