SALEM, Ore. — April 3rd was an exciting day at Salem Indoor where 17 new youth officials gained their USSF certification through the new CFC Youth Referee Academy – a new CFC program that allows youth gain and build workplace skills, leadership skills, and communication skills via officiating.
The class was hosted by a USSF instructor alongside Sandra Serafini who is a Professional Referee Organization (PRO) Director of Strategic Initiatives and Innovation / FIFA / CONCACAF member and instructor.
“The CFC Youth Ref Academy is a fantastic opportunity for everyone who has a stake in growing and developing soccer in Oregon to come together and create a safe and positive learning environment for coaches, players and officials,” stated Serafini. “Partnering with Jose Maciel as the Director of Officiating presents a very special opportunity to take meaningful and lasting steps in addressing the severe officiating shortage, humanizing these young officials, and showing day-in and day-out that the philosophy of creating positive and safe learning environments will sustain and grow the game we all love from all angles.”
17 youth officials took part in this all day course last week learning a multitude of referee skills such as how to call offsides, correctly hold their flag, and fine tuned their referee mechanics. Serafini holds firm in the knowledge that this program gives officiating the “opportunity to take concrete steps in advancing our nation-wide efforts to be truly inclusive, remove barriers to access, and have our officials reflect the diversity we see on the field.”
Jose Maciel, Director of the Youth Referee Academy and a CFC Alumni himself, shared his excitement. “I am excited for these youth to have the opportunity to develop as an official in a safe learning environment that will be created by the juniors program but also help develop them as a person in their leadership skills and work experience. I am also super excited to have a structured supported pathway in their referee development. Seeing the fields painted makes me thrilled for the opportunities to come for both the players and officials on the field.”
The academy has also announced its first sponsor, TeamXStream, who in partnership with Serafini will provide the exclusive video mentoring tool to enhance and highlight officials involved in YRA. Officials will be able to track their progress and achievements week to week.
“It’s now our job to ensure everyone who steps up has the tools and support to learn, thrive, and succeed over the long term, especially for their first 3 years as an official,” said Serafini. “It is a privilege to be involved with this program and contribute educational tools, video analysis tools, and whatever experience I’ve gained over the last 25 years as a referee, instructor, assessor, and director in the professional game to help move the ball forward.”
To learn more about the CFC Youth Referee Academy, click here.