Eswatini’s leading referees reflect on journey to the top of the sport

Eswatini’s leading referees reflect on journey to the top of the sport

As teqball continues its rapid rise around the world, the need for talented referees is growing every day. In Eswatini, new players are joining the sport en masse, making the search for referees of the utmost importance for the country’s National Teqball Federation.

Two referees who have reached the top of the sport, and are inspiring others to follow in their footsteps, are Nkosingivile Ndumiso Magongo (NM) and Nokwazi Dlamini (ND). FITEQ sat down with the duo to hear about their journey to becoming officials at major international events, and why they are so passionate about attracting new referees to the sport.

How did you first hear about teqball?

NM: I first heard about teqball from our National Federation President Taribo Bhembe. He called me after I achieved my Degree in Sport Management to tell me about this exciting career path.

ND: I was also introduced to the sport by our President Taribo Bhembe, who asked if I was interested in being a part of this new wave in sport. And of course I was!

What inspired you to become a referee?

NM: The mechanics and technicalities of the sport inspired me to become a referee. I initially enjoyed sharpening my skills from a playing perspective, but soon found myself drawn to wanting to learn more about the rules and the officiating side of the sport. I knew this would help me to be a part of the exciting international competitions.

ND: After learning all the rules about the sport, I was really interested in being a part of the refereeing team, and while watching other referees at work I was inspired to follow in their footsteps.

How has FITEQ and your NF helped you on your journey?

NM:  FITEQ and my NF have helped by providing the educational and practical resources to make improve my skills as a referee. We have regular training sessions which help with the applying what I have learnt. Additionally, experts are in place to help me with questions and to give advice as to how I can continue to improve. FITEQ also provides videos and testing, which are incredibly helpful, and there is financial investment from both FITEQ and my NF in referees, which is greatly appreciated.

ND: I am part of the FITEQ Talent Programme for referees which was introduced by FITEQ to help elite-level referees to learn and grow. We have regular training sessions which the NF ensures we attend.

You participated in the Paris World Series, your first international event. How was your experience?

NM: My experience in Paris was nothing short of amazing. I learned so much during the event. I was nervous for my first match, but I could not have been in a better place to grow and sharpen my skills as a referee. I also got to learn from my international colleagues who were warm and welcoming and corrected me wherever I might have been mistaken. I was very pleased with my experience and performance in France.

ND: It was very nerve wrecking in the beginning as it was a very big stage, the world stage. In the first game I officiated I was particularly nervous, but with the help of all the other referees we were with, it relaxed more as the competition progressed!

What lessons did you learn in Paris that you will look to apply in Eswatini?

NM: The constant professionalism on display in Paris created a fantastic energy that I will apply in Eswatini. By ensuring every moment is taken seriously, I will be able to support the growth of the sport and ensure our very own aspiring referees can reach the level required to officiate at the best and biggest tournaments.

ND: I learnt from watching other referees in the Series how to compose myself as a referee, I learnt how to deal with players calmly and handle situations in a proper manner. These were vital lessons I will look to apply here in Eswatini as we aim to develop the next generation of referees. 

What are your ambitions as a teqball referee?

NM: I want to officiate in the best competitions around the world, and to improve individually every day. Most importantly, I want to be able to inspire aspiring referees and contribute to the ongoing growth of teqball in Eswatini!

ND: My ambitions are to be able to officiate in the World Championships and in turn inspire other female referees in Eswatini to be on the world stage as well!

12 Apr 2022