The Empowerment of Female Coaches and Referees program has hit the home straight of the year-long project at two of the biggest events on the women’s basketball calendar.
The referees attended the EuroCup Women Final Four in Bourges, while the coaches headed to Istanbul for the EuroLeague Women Final Four for the final stage of the FIBA Europe-led project, which is co-funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ Sports Program.
Finland’s Ariadna Chueca and Spain’s Yasmina Alcaraz were part of the EuroCup Women Final Four officiating crew having been nominated by FIBA Europe to reflect a huge success for the program.
Laure Coanus of France, Kristine Simanovica of Latvia, Marta Malczewska of Poland and Sara Mansson of Sweden were the other referees in Bourges as they were mentored by Chantal Julien and Jasmina Juras, who was honored on the court having announced her retirement from 5-on-5 officiating.
The referee mentees shadowed the officiating crew at the Bourges Final Four, whilst observing and evaluating the games and attending meetings along with one-on-one feedback with the mentors.
In Istanbul, Irene Otamiri of Sweden was the mentee coach in attendance as she shadowed ZVVZ USK Praha head coach Natalia Hejkova in team sessions and practice sessions as well as receiving one-on-one mentoring during the off days.
The legendary Hejkova, a FIBA Hall of Fame inductee, is fully committed to the program as one of the Mentors for the coaches .
The program moves onto the 2022 Postojna Summit with one referee mentee and one coach mentee will be in attendance to share their experiences over the course of the nine months.
There are also five national federations as partners of the project; the FEB (Spanish Basketball Federation) FFBB (French Basketball Federation), Basketball Finland, KSS (Serbian Basketball Federation) and KZS (Slovenian Basketball Federation).