Thursday, April 18, 2013
OTTAWA – April 17, 2013 - Say “THANKS” to a sports official today. Sports Officials Canada has designated today as National Officials Day in Canada. The theme of this - the inaugural event, is “Respect the Official”. The aim is to increase the awareness of the importance of officiating to sport and to promote respect of officials.
“We hope that sport organizations, administrators, coaches, athletes and parents are taking time today to thank the thousands of officials who volunteer their time every day so that Canadians can enjoy the sports they love to play”, said SOC President, Paul Deshaies.
The estimated number of technical officials in Canada who come under the jurisdiction of National Sports Organizations technical officiating programs is 250,000, of which 150,000 are registered. These are in addition to the other 650,000 Canadians who perform some sort of officiating duty each year.
As the “keepers of the game”, it is their role to ensure fair play and safety for all participants. For the majority, it is a volunteer activity – they give up their evenings and weekends to do something that they love. It is their dedication and passion for what they do which makes them an integral part of the sport system.
It can be a thankless and sometimes rough job. Disrespect and abuse of officials can lead to low recruitment and retention figures in some sports. The message today is that disrespecting a sports official is never acceptable nor should it ever be considered “part of the game”.
Sports Officials Canada invites all sport organizations and individuals to take time today to acknowledge their officials. National Officials Day is a chance to thank the men and women who officiate our sports and to recognize their efforts and the tremendous impact they have on the games we love.
Sports Officials Canada has several projects being announced and launched today including the first ever virtual Hall of Fame honouring the best in Canadian officiating; a new Online Resource centre, and a new Critical Incident Reporting System (CIRS) which will track various types of abuse of officials. SOC is also running several contests and draws today for members and our Facebook friends. Details of all these projects are available at http://www.sportsofficials.ca
Sports Officials Canada is a federally incorporated national organization dedicated to promoting excellence in sports officiating and represents Canadian technical officials as a national voice. For more information about SOC please visit their website at http://www.sportsofficials.ca or contact them at