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: Lucy Wallbank

Last week saw the 14th delivery of the FIBA Referee Instructor Programme in Dubai, UAE the first to be delivered in the Middle East since 2018.

The four-day face-to-face programme saw Sport Structures Executive Director Simon Kirkland leading days one and two of the FRIP curriculum, delivering a series of energetic teaching and learning sessions to referee instructors from across the middle east including Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Qatar, and Iraq. The further two days integrated both Basketball and refereeing knowledge to ensure candidates can return to their home nations with a fountain of wisdom, ready to deliver more interactive, high-quality, referee training.

The impact of this programme has seen an increase in the number of countries providing international referees and a surplus in the number of teams at regional club tournaments.

We caught up with Simon on his return to England who is understandably delighted to continue his delivery, even with his sight impairment and said, “the middle east is always a challenge to appreciate and adapt to different cultural needs, but learning must be fun, and we endeavour to do this.”

Iman Attakathi, an emerging referee from the Kingdom of Bahrain spoke “I have learned a lot from this FRIP course, how to prepare a session, deal with it and deal with the participants…”.

To hear more about Iman’s experiences during this FIBA programme in Dubai, view the video below.