Being there could keep the gates open for my countrymen – Etwah
Accredited IRB Levels 1-3 Touch Judge and Level 1 official Alwin Etwah leaves today to officiate in the International Sevens Series in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Etwah follows in the footsteps of one of his mentors Conrad Arjoon, who was the first Guyanese to have officiated in the International Sevens Tournament.
Speaking with Kaieteur Sport yesterday, the 27 year-old Etwah said that he is indeed elated to have been selected to participate in such a high level competition and will do his best to keep the high standard set by Arjoon.
A former player, who’s playing career ended in 2008 has been able to rack up valuable experience officiating in tournaments such as the WIRU Under-16 Tens in 2003, the NAWIRA Women’s 15’s Championship in 2008, Guyana versus Trinidad and Tobago Over-35’s, NAWIRA Rugby World Cup qualifiers in the Bahamas in 2009, NAWIRA U-19’s, NAWIRA Women’s 15’s in 2009 in Barbados and NACRA Sevens 2009 in Mexico and the T&T National Sevens also in the same year.
Touching on what it means for a Guyanese to have the opportunity to officiate at such a prestigious tournament, Etwah said that in is an honour, but lamented the fact that more locals can come through and gain similar chances if more rugby is played at home.
“Getting valuable on-field experience is critical if we’re to acquire and maintain the standards set out by the IRB and the only way for us to do so will require more tournaments locally so that our knowledge of the sport can improve,” Etwah reasoned.
He said he is grateful for the opportunity to be able to work with the elite officials in world. “I feel that just as Arjoon had done previously, me being there could keep the gates open for more of my countrymen to come through because when you’re on the international stage the whole world is watching,” Etwah commented.
He added that the players have already put us on the rugby map due to their outstanding achievements and the opportunity that he has is just another opening for Guyana.
He informed that his move from being a player to becoming an official was mainly due to the influence he received from some of the senior players.
“I had originally wanted to become a coach, but that did not work out so I made the switch after some amount of encouragement from some of the seniors and I have no regrets.” He disclosed that he now has the opportunity to travel more and that will help him gain more international experience and broaden his knowledge base so critical for a sport that is consistently amending and changing the rules to make it more attractive.
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