Teenage whis­tle-blower walks tall among the refs

The Herald (South Africa) - - Horse Racing - Amir Chetty

With­out ref­er­ees, there would be no foot­ball – that was the mes­sage from North­ern Ar­eas Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Clive Kil­lian at the in­au­gu­ral ref­er­ees awards cer­e­mony on Satur­day.

The event was held at the Gel­van Grounds where ref­er­ees past and present were recog­nised for their loyal ser­vice.

The func­tion was at­tended by more than 40 ref­er­ees and dig­ni­taries, who be­gan their ca­reers with Nafa be­fore mov- ing up the of­fi­ci­at­ing lad­der to pro­vin­cial and na­tional level.

Also in at­ten­dance were in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised ref­er­ees Robert Smith and Dei­dre Zealand.

Ref­er­ees who of­fi­ci­ated in games dur­ing the 2018 Nafa sea­son were awarded with to­kens of ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

A num­ber of spe­cial hon­ours were awarded to a se­lect group of in­di­vid­u­als who went be­yond the call of duty.

Among th­ese awards were the se­nior ref­eree of the year, which went to Christo­pher Houlie, and the ju­nior award, which went to Rabia Noor­shib.

Speak­ing about the ac­co­lade, Houlie said he was happy as it was not some­thing he had ex­pected.

“Recog­ni­tion is not the most im­por­tant thing, but re­ceiv­ing this ac­co­lade is the ic­ing on the cake.”

Noor­shib, 15, said she only started of­fi­ci­at­ing halfway through the 2018 sea­son, but it was some­thing she en­joyed.

“My mother is a soc­cer coach so that is how I got into it,” she said.

“It’s a lot of fun, stress­ful at times, but still fun.”

Pic­ture: CH­ES­LIN PLAATJIES

ON THE UP: Rabia Noor­shib claims her Ju­nior Ref­eree of the Year award at the in­au­gu­ral Nafa Ref­er­ees Awards last week. Pre­sent­ing the tro­phy is Aubrey Si­mons, an­other Nafa stal­wart

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