Cairo, Egypt, March 22, 2015 - African Volleyball Confederation President Dr. Amr Elwani opened the annual International Refereeing Seminar in Cairo, with 85 referees including 18 female referees in attendance.
In his opening speech, Dr. Elwani welcomed the referees and asked them to make the most of their attendance at the prestigious seminar, which is held annually by the CAVB in order to help improve the performance of Africa's international referees. Elwani expressed his great happiness with the increased number of international and candidate referees across the continent.
"At this seminar, all seven CAVB Zones are represented, which shows that the implementation of the CAVB's Strategic and Development Plan is successful across the continent.
"We need to continue to increase the total number of referees as part of our strategic planning, and we need to support and promote female referees and their participation in top level events in Africa," he added.
"I am happy also to see that 18 female referees are here at this seminar, which represents 50 per cent of the African female referees, who are at a total of 35, and this is part of our strategy to have more female referees."
Dr. Elwani also explained that African refereeing had made an extraordinary jump in quality and performance. Africa has increased from only 69 referees in 2005 to 247 in 2015, in both volleyball and beach volleyball, which places Africa as the second best confederation after CEV (the European Confederation) in terms of the number of its international referees.
The CAVB President emphasised that it is very important for the CAVB Board to support the development of refereeing in Africa as a crucial element in the sport. He added that the CAVB would like to ensure that each national federation in Africa will have – by end of 2017 – at least two international referees – one for volleyball and one for beach volleyball.
Dr. Elwani asked the referees present to be at their best at matches and to comply with the code of neutrality.
"One of the main goals of this seminar is to improve the quality of our referees through improving their performance and preparing them for the FIVB competitions. We also need more involvement from our referees in national competitions, because it is a way to provide them with the required experience."
Dr. Elwani concluded his speech by expressing his belief that African referees have remarkable potential and that they can reach the highest level at FIVB events. He stressed that he is always available for them for any support or help and through all communication channels.
The seminar which followed the opening ceremony was led by CAVB Refereeing Commission President Mr Hassan Ahmed.