New Zealand referee Campbell-Kirk Kawana-Waugh has attended a specialised pre-season camp for professional referees in Argentina.
Kawana-Waugh and Oceania colleague Ben Aukwai, from the Solomon Islands, became the first officials from the region to attend the event at the Lionel Messi National Training Centre in Buenos Aires, and in Mar del Plata.
They worked on and off the pitch in sessions with Saudi Arabian referees and Argentinian officials, who will help officiate at OFC tournaments in 2024.
Main photo: From left, Campbell-Kirk Kawana-Waugh, Alejo Perez Leguizamon and Ben Aukwai. Photo credit: OFC Media.
OFC high-performance coach Alejo Perez Leguizamon, was also attended the camp, said:
“The referee exchange is an amazing opportunity to improve football refereeing skills and benchmark with top referees, learn from highly qualified instructors and also to interact with local fitness coaches, medical staff and other amazing professionals that provide support to the Argentine football referees.”
The camp covered topics ranging from physical preparation to medical checks, offside, handball, VAR protocol and practical training on the field of play, with local professional football players.
Perez Leguizamon said being exposed to different environments and learning from some of the world’s best referees would only enhance the development of Oceania referees.
“And equally important is the exchange experience with other cultures and the chance to meet and connect with peers and follow referees from Argentina and Saudi Arabia,” he said.
“It’s also a unique opportunity for our match officials to get exposure to professional football environments, key to develop referees for professional football leagues and matches.”