By Muhammad Babur
Lahore: On the occasion of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, a South African FIFA-certified female referee Akhona Makalima has arrived in Lahore to conduct an international course on ‘women’s leadership and career mentorship in sports’ on the invitation of Galaxy Sports Academy (GSA).
Akhona Makalima, who is South Africa’s first FIFA female referee and has honor of refereeing the FIFA U19 Women World Cup held in Costa Rica this year, has been conducting the course entitled as ‘Career Mentorship in Women Sports and Football Refereeing’ at Government College University (GCU) Lahore till November 25 under the patronage of the U.S. Department of State Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP).
International hockey player and Pakistan’s first female Olympic volunteer Rabia Qadir, who is also an alumna of the GSMP class of 2016, invited Akhona Makalima for the second time to Pakistan to train and prepare the next generation for female mentors and sports leaders.
Currently, there is no Pakistani female referee on the FIFA panel. So during this course, Makalima will train 25 national and international athletes about how they move forward in life after their playing career and become mentors and leaders. She will also guide the participants about the pathway how to become a referee at the international level.
Government College University Vice Chancellor Dr. Asghar Zaidi has taken a keen interest in the course and provided local hospitality and world-class facilities for the FIFA-certified female referee. During this visit, Akhona Makalima will also participate in different events, where she will celebrate the FIFA World Cup, which is being hosted for the first time by an Islamic country.