Young refs shine at Kanga Cup

On July 2 the largest youth football tournament in the southern hemisphere kicked off in Canberra, Australia with two of WaiBOP’ s finest young referees involved. Kanga Cup is a youth football tournament with age groups ranging from U9 to U18 in boys and girls categories with teams from across Australia, New Zealand and Korea.

Jared Lamberth (18) and Robbie Maris (15), both from Tauranga, were selected by the WaiBOP Referee Committee to travel to Canberra and be part of the Kanga Referee Youth Academy (KRYA). The intention in sending referees to KRYA is to provide opportunities for young, talented officials to travel abroad, experience football at different levels and further their development.

KYRA is a residential academy for 50 interstate and international referees which is run alongside the competition. Their experience included officiating on 2-3 matches per day, being watched and coached by referee coaches, coaching / mentoring sessions taken by current and former FIFA officials as well as living with the other match officials at the Australian Institute of Sport during the week.

It is an intense week, where Jared and Robbie effectively lived the experience and gained insights into life as a professional referee in a tournament environment. Along the way they make new connections and friends.

Both Jared and Robbie performed well during the week and each were appointed to crucial final matches. Robbie was appointed as the referee on the U14 boys final and Jared was appointed as assistant referee on the U18 boys final. They represented themselves, along with WaiBOP, very well during the week and were recognised with important appointments.

WaiBOP funded Jared and Robbie’s international travel to and from Canberra and provided them with apparel for their time in the often cold Canberra winter, while accommodation, local transport, meals etc. were all covered by Kanga Cup.