“Belgrade was the ideal location to launch the new Level 2 course,” said overseeing RLEF tutor, Phil Smith, commenting on the RLEF Education team’s first-ever Level 2 match official course, hosted by the Serbian Rugby League Federation in Belgrade.
“It was great to see the participants up-skill their education as well as officiate on the many matches that were played in tandem.”
Radoslav Novakovic, SRLF Level 1 MO educator was there to help Smith and RLEF match official manager, Tom Mather deliver the course, which was attended by Jean Pierre Zarb of Malta, Adrian Seglem from Norway, Zsolt Lukacs and Balint Mezes from Hungary, three Serbian level 2 candidates, and from outside the framework of the TEP, Russian educator Andrey Zhukov.
“We saw a number of developing officials who, with action plans and a few more games under their belts will be excellent; more than capable now of climbing the match officials ladder,” said Tom Mather. “This course was an eye opener for a number of the match officials, who dealt well with a new level of complexity in temperatures up to 38 degrees!”
In addition to Zhukov and Novakovic, two local officials completed all the tasks, and will now need to complete a series of continuing professional developments tasks before receiving their level 2 qualification.
“The course was very interesting and productive,” noted Jean Pierre Zarb, “especially the experience side of it for me, and having the chance to speak to so many other rugby league nations face to face.”
Norway representative, Adrian Zeglem concurred. “I learned a lot of new things, improved on what I already knew and even got feedback from how I did officiating in games,” he said. “This experience helps raise the level in Norway and assists in us introducing stricter rules into our competition.”
In addition, the first continental Level 2 coaching course has been completed in Vrchlabi, Czech Republic.
Held at the brand new football stadium in the town, the course was led by Czech educator David Lahr, who was supported by Svenska Rugby League Forening colleague Ashley Brown and RLEF Coaching Manager Martin Crick.
“It was a very successful four-day course that saw four coaches work with players from the Vrchlabi Mad Squirrels,” said Crick. “I was hugely impressed with the ability and endeavour of both coaches and educators, and I feel sure that playing levels in the Czech Republic will improve considerably as a result.”
Brown added: “It was great to see technical and knowledgeable coaches from all over the Czech Republic improve their coaching skills. I’m confident both the Czech Republic and Sweden will benefit from the course. A big thanks to the Mad Squirrels for donating their time, and to the town of Vrchlabi for providing the awesome facilities.”
The attending coaches will now be responsible for completing a series of professional development tasks before receiving their L2 qualification, while Crick moves onto Belgrade to conduct a similar course for Serbian, Maltese and Norwegian delegates.