AIFF - Reliance Foundation Youth Sports Women Match Officials Workshop starts in Kolkata

Nurturing lives, building futures

Kolkata, March 24, 2023: All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) have joined hands to host a two days’ workshop in Kolkata starting today.

A first of its kind, the RFYS - AIFF Women Match Official Workshop has over 30 female officials, gaining key on-field and classroom training across the 2 days, by AIFF Officials. The referees participating in the workshop are registered under the AIFF from 6 different centers like Shillong, Kolkata, Jamshedpur, Aizawal, Hyderabad and Kharagpur.

The workshop is being led by Trevor Kettle (Chief Refereeing Officer) & Maria Rebello (Course Director & Referees Committee Member) on behalf of the AIFF.

AIFF Chief Refereeing Officer, Mr. Trevor Kettle, said, “RFYS, beyond players and coaches, fully recognises the positive contribution that referees bring to the game of football. RFYS's forward thinking attitude and inclusiveness has provided exciting opportunities for aspiring female referees across a number of competitions and the country. AIFF's Referee Department, in partnership with RFYS, is delighted to provide those dedicated female match officials an opportunity to upskill and receive training reserved for Professional Match Officials. The future for female referees is bright and the federation feels that women match officials with ambition, drive and dedication will operate at the professional level in the coming years.”

Speaking about the workshop, Reliance Foundation Youth Sports Spokesperson said, "Reliance Foundation is committed towards ensuring more participation of girl and women athletes in India. We work extensively towards creating programmes which would provide them maximum opportunities to learn and showcase their expertise. The RFYS-AIFF Women Match Officials Workshop is yet another step in that direction to ensure that the women officials in India undergo the requisite upskilling and training to enhance their participation in the football ecosystem. We are pleased to partner with the All India Football Federation for this workshop and hope that we are able to grow the number of women officials in national and international football matches.”

Reliance Foundation has worked extensively towards the growth of women in football by providing them multiple opportunities to showcase their talent. While the 2022-23 season of the RFYS Football Championship saw a massive participation from young girls across the country, what stood out was the numerous female coaches, match officials and team staff as part of the tournament.

Since inception, RFYS has impacted 9 million children, from more than 10,000 schools and colleges, in 26 states and union territories and has supported the football coaching ecosystem by up-skilling 750+ coaches with RFYS sponsored D License coaching certification in association with AIFF. During the pandemic, RFYS conducted virtual sessions on fitness, nutrition, well-being of athletes which were attended by over 11,000+ coaches/athletes and hosted digital Coach education workshops with The Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC) providing certification to over 400+ coaches including women.

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