The 3-day North West Handball Games Masters/ Referees Clinic ended in Kaduna with the organisers optimistic it will be a stepping stone for young referees to emerge from the zone.
Speaking with newsmen at the media centre Ahmadu Bello Stadium where the clinic was held, Zonal Sports Officer, North West, Alhaji Abdullahi Idris said that as part of the mandate handed down by the federal ministry of youth and sports development, they will ensure that an enabling environment is provided for development of sports and officials.
“Between now and next year, we will facilitate their grading through a two weeks course as suggested by the resource person of this clinic,” he said.
Alhaji Idris said that 30 participants from across the seven states from the zone attended the clinic.
When asked if it was hastily put together as a result of the upcoming federations elections, he said it was planned in the zone’s calendar for 2021.
“It was put together, by three zonal Representatives, including ours, It was part of activities in our calendar, not as a result of election,” he said.
He urged the participants to come together as a body to forge ahead. “They need to come together under a formal organisation,” he advised.
Also speaking, immediate past North West Representative on the board of Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Alhaji Musa Baba Hamza said that the clinic was organised to groom new referees in the zone.
“North West is left behind in field of officiating. Right now the referees from the zone are senior, if they retire, there will be no replacement,” which informed organising the clinic.
“It has been successful from discussions with participants, they are ready to impact on others. We have a passion for the game we will raise the standard of handball across the nation,” he said.
Hamza who is also the Chairman of Kano State Handball Association, informed that he is contesting for North West Zonal Rep. on HFN board in the forthcoming election.
The Chief Resource Person at the clinic, James Ahmadu who is a retired International Handball Federation (IHF) Referee, said that he came from Benue State to serve as resource person to set the stage for grooming of new officials for the North West.
“North West is bereft of referees, now that emphasis is placed on youth referee, we decided to start from North West.
“Their knowledge in handball officiating is broadened. The three days was not enough, but we made it an abridged version, subsequently, we hope to get two weeks training.
“They have tried and from the results I am marking, they have really done well.
There is certificate of participation to be issued. For them to be graded, there has to be two weeks of intensive training, then we can grade them from grade 3, 2 and one,” he said.
For the Captain of the clinic, Nazifi Alhassan Ahmed from Kano State, the clinic has been a rewarding experience.
“We started on Monday, spent three days. I learnt a lot that I didn’t know before. I am here as a games master from Kofar Nasarawa Government Secondary School,, Kano” he said.
He assured that he will teach the young ones what he learnt adding that the environment helped him to learn better.