10th All-Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique-Local officials shine at the Games



They are Derrick Andrew (volleyball), Vanessa Créa (badminton), Lucas George (cycling) and Bernard Camille (football).

While in Maputo, coach and DTN Lucas Georges entered the Games’ history book by becoming the first ever African official to be appointed as chief commissioners, replacing the European officials at the nine previous Games.

Initially selected as a technical delegate by the Confederation of African Cycling (Cac) under the banner of the Union Cycliste International (UCI) team, Georges was then promoted to the top post based on his qualifications and experience.

He also chaired meetings of commissioners and helped work on recommendations submitted during the Games.

He described the achievement as a big victory for Seychelles at the Games as the country did not take part in cycling.
Coach Georges described the Games’ cycling competition as very interesting as there were many countries taking part.

DTN Georges (2nd left) and other cycling commissioners at the Games

“The countries did not only take part to win. They did so in the spirit of partaking as well as for their own personal improvement,” he added.

He also said he was impressed by the Mauritian team who won the silver medal in the team time trial.

For referee Andrew, the Maputo Games was his third following his contributions at the eighth and ninth Games in Abuja, Nigeria in 2003 and Algiers, Algeria in 2007.

He said he has noticed a rapid rise in the level of women’s volleyball compared to the two previous Games.

Referee Andrew, who is a volleyball development officer with the National Sports Council and is attached to the Seychelles Volleyball Federation, and also a coach, noted that most teams are made up of young and tall players. He explained that if Seychelles want to reach new heights, this is the trend to follow.

Volleyball referee Andrew

“We should start recruiting young and tall players as part of our development programme,” he added.

The experienced referee described the overall organisation of the volleyball tournament as very poor. This, he said, put a lot of pressure on both players and officials. He also explained that the Mozambican Volleyball Federation did not train linesmen and scorekeepers as instructed by the Confédération Africaine de Volleyball (CAVB).

“There were no qualified personnel for those jobs, therefore referees had to do everything themselves – from refereeing to scorekeeping and this more than doubled our work causing a lot of stress,” he said.

He also noted that because of a lack of proper communications, matches were delayed, causing the daily competition to drag until late at night. This added more pressure and stress on the officials.

Badminton umpire Créa in action For her part, umpire Vanessa Créa, who was on her first All-Africa Games assignment, described the tournament as an enriching experience.

She said the competition was well organised and all officials received the full support of the head referee and his team as well as the organising committee.

“The tournament went on smoothly and there was a very high level of fair-play,” she explained.

She, however, admitted that at the start of the competition there were several misunderstandings which were dealt with accordingly.

“The competition was good and the players displayed good quality badminton which required the officials to remain focused all the time,” said Créa who officiated at the All-Africa under-15 badminton championship in Mauritius last year.

Sports Nation could not get hold of football referee Bernard Camille and we hope to bring you an account of his Maputo experience in a future issue.

R. D.

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