|BBF President Mr. Viktor Kamenkov, FIBA Europe Head of Operations Miguel Betancor and BBF Secretary General Igor Seliun|
FIBA Europe Head of Operations Miguel Betancor was in Belarus over the weekend to share his knowledge and experience with the country's basketball officials and promising referees.
At the invitation of the Belarus Basketball Federation (BBF), Mr Betancor was invited to the mid-season clinic for the country's top referees and commissioners.
The clinic was held at the conference hall of the brand new Minsk Arena, a 15,000-seat venue in the Belarusian capital.
Betancor delivered a presentation on FIBA Europe's philosophy with regards to referees' development while he also took part in a video analysis session and attended the referees' fitness tests.
"It was a great opportunity for me to come to Belarus for the first time. The clinic showed that Belarusian referees and commissioners are ready to learn, I was pleased with their willingness to express their opinions and ask questions," commented Betancor.
"Of course, they will always need to work hard to improve, but by all accounts the BBF is moving toward the right direction in terms of referees' development. Overall, I was really pleased to find a lot of people who love and care about basketball in Belarus."
Viktor Kamenkov, the BBF President, was grateful for the presence of FIBA Europe in the Clinic: "On behalf of BBF, I'd like to express our utmost gratitude to FIBA Europe and personally to Mr. Miguel Betancor for coming to our country and working with Belarusian basketball referees.
|FIBA Europe Head of Operations Miguel Betancor congratulates referee Ms. Irina Konan|
"We want to build on the success of this clinic and organize similar educational events not only for referees, but for the coaches too."
His views were echoed by Igor Seliun, the Secretary General of Belarusian Basketball Federation: "Since 2009 we've been working closely with FIBA Europe and the results are already starting to appear. Today we see lots of new faces among referees, who officiate top competitions in Belarus - something that would've been impossible without the help and expertise of FIBA Europe."
Alexander Syrytsa, the BBF's National Instructor admitted that clinics of this kind carry a high level of importance for Belarusian referees and commissioners.
"They help us develop not only officiating but basketball in general," said Syrytsa. "It was very important and very interesting for everybody in the audience to discover the FIBA Europe philosophy of modern officiating. I hope we will continue to cooperate with FIBA Europe and implement their standards and principles here in Belarus."
Betancor also attended a historic ceremony where it was announced that Belarusian referee Ms. Irina Konan was promoted to the group of referees who will officiate in the National Men's League (the country's top division), thus becoming the first Belarusian female referee ever to officiate men's games at the highest possible level nationally.
Ms Konan is also considered a strong candidate to become an international referee in the future.
|FIBA Europe Head of Operations Miguel Betancor during his visit to the Center of video and technology of the Belarusian State University of Physical Culture|
"It's hard to even start describing the feelings I've had when the National Instructor Mr. Syrytsa together with FIBA Europe Head of Operations Mr. Betancor announced I'll be officiating a top division game of the men's National League as soon as this Tuesday," said an emotional Konan.
"It's a mixture of sheer joy and understanding that it'll be at a completely different level of responsibility. I'm very happy to become the first female referee in Belarus to officiate at this level. I'm ready to give my best to prove this decision was a right one."
Seliun was also moved. "We are all proud of Irina Konan. Her promotion to the elite tier of basketball officials is a true milestone and a historic moment for our Federation."
Belarusian referees and commissioners also received their new licenses during the clinic.
On the second day of his visit, Betancor had a series of meetings with Belarus state officials and was introduced to the facilities at the University of Physical Culture.