OTTAWA - It’s official! Mark your calendars. Sports Officials Canada is pleased to announce the designation of April 17, 2013 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.
The estimated number of technical officials in Canada who come under the jurisdiction of our 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.
Sports officials are 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.
Additionally, it is not just here at home that they contribute to sport. Canada has long been viewed as a world leader in the field of officiating. Evidence of this is the fact that 144 Canadian technical officials were selected by the various international bodies to officiate at the Beijing, Vancouver and London Olympics and the hundreds of Canadians who referee and judge at World Championships and World Cups each year.
Sports Officials Canada invites all sport organizations and groups to plan an event for April 17th, 2013 to acknowledge their officials. National Officials Day is a chance to thank the men and women who officiate our sports. Take time to recognize their efforts and the tremendous impact they have on the games we love.
“We want to deliver the message to everyone in sport that disrespecting a sports official is never acceptable nor should it ever be considered “part of the game”, said Denise Pittuck, SOC Executive Director.