A longtime instructor from Fédération Internationale de Volleyball will be on Saipan next week to conduct FIVB’s volleyball cooperation program referee course.
Avelino Azevedo of Portugal will be in town for the VCP referee course (indoor) that will run from March 11 to 15 at the Marianas High School Gymnasium and Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. The 53-year-old visitor has been conducting course for FIVB since 2002 and holds a FIVB coaches course I, II, and II degrees and a masters degree in Sports Psychology from Minho University in Braga, Portugal. Before holding referee courses, the Porto native played for FC Porto (indoor) in 15 years, helping his team won six Portugal championships and three Cup titles.
Azevedo also officiated international games since 1991 and for 15 seasons was the referee at the World League. He was in the World League Final (Rotterdam, 2000), World Grand Prix (Reggio Calabria, 2004), and other Olympic qualification tournaments. In the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, he was one of the referees in the beach volleyball competition and was a member of the FIVB World Tour Referee Delegates from 1999 to 2005.
The veteran instructor is currently in the Maldives and is expected to arrive on Saipan this weekend. He is hoping to see more people attend the course to further develop the sport in the CNMI and provide opportunities to interested individuals.
“The main goals of the FIVB Volleyball Cooperation Programme are clear, to multiply opportunities through a variety of courses aimed at raising the level of the national federations involved, and to prepare them in thinking forward towards the future. The course is designed to educate and train new referees at the national level. It also provides national federations with a structure so that they may continue to develop their national referees. With my international experience still as an active volleyball referee, I will try to clear all the doubts about the volleyball rules and to explain all the participants why volleyball is one of the most successful and popular competitive and recreational sports in the world,” Azevedo said in an email to Saipan Tribune.
The FIVB instructor also acknowledged that CNMI volleyball has yet to level up with other FIVB members as far as international competition is concerned, through holding various courses and getting more people involve, he believes progress will happen.
“From the information I’ve collected, Northern Mariana Islands Volleyball Federation has a very active, positive national federation and is focused on a very junior development. The level of volleyball is still not good enough for international competitions, but they are very enthusiastic in everything they do, so progress will naturally happen. Most of the national program is reliant of volunteers, but there is a group of committed administration and coaches who are just amazing with their determination, specially their president Laurie Peterka,” Azevedo said.
As for the course he will be conducting, Azevedo said it will widen the participants knowledge about the sport.
“The participants will be able to gain a better understanding of the highly technical nature of refereeing volleyball and throughout the week they will be challenged and grow in the different refereeing areas. Learning systems will be implemented to ensure that they are able to continue to grow their abilities after the course has ended. Volleyball could have a very positive impact on the local community by offering a pathway to further education in the form of life skills and college education opportunities,” he said.
The Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday sessions of the course will run from 4pm to 8pm at MHS, while Saturday will be a whole day affair with the 8am to 12pm theory session set at MHS and the practical part from 1pm to 5pm scheduled at the Ada Gym.