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: Simon Kirkland


Simon Kirkland conducted a two-day Teaching and Learning session as part of the FIBA - FRIP Programme, engaging with 24 learners from various European countries in the fifth European course. Following this, two additional days were dedicated to integrating basketball and referee knowledge, qualifying learners as FRIP Level 1 referee instructors.

This effort contributed to a global total of over 350 FRIP Instructors. The Head of Refereeing at FIBA expressed, “The incorporation of modern learning techniques, combined with basketball knowledge, has fundamentally transformed our approach to teaching referees. We are witnessing an improvement in refereeing, aligning with our long-term goal.”

Beyond Borders: European Success and Global Expansion of the FRIP Programme:

Simon delivered the content with this characteristic energy, engaging with participants in an interactive and occasionally humorous manner. The focus was on tailoring learning to meet the needs of 24 learners, including those of whom English is a second language. The intensive two-day programme covered topics such as creating positive learning environments, adapting delivery approaches, employing interactive techniques, managing feedback, session plans and assessment practices. 

Testimonials from the Field:

The 16 hours of learning facilitated the learners to lead sessions for their peers, fostering the development of innovative delivery approaches through feedback. Participants shared their perspectives, with one-nothing, "This course has completely opened my eyes to a new way of delivering learning to new and high-level referees putting them at the centre of their learning”, another said, “When it said Intense they meant it, really challenged me and I am a better person for the experience”. 

Future Plans and Global Reach:

Simon and Carl, with input from the World Association of Basketball Coach, developed this programme. Future plans include additional courses globally, with two in Asia, one in the Americas, and another scheduled in Greece for 2025. The second level of FRIP will also have its second course later this year in Turkey. 

Simon, passionate about delivering tutoring and assessing, is pleased to witness a cultural change in an International Governing Body, addressing the need for both more referees and better quality. Recognising this challenge extends beyond basketball, Simon is engaged in discussions about training and developing referee programmes to alleviate the shortage of officials. 

Addressing the Shortage:

Simon said, “FIBA internationally have identified a need for better and more referees and it’s great to see a cultural change and an improvement worldwide, it just proves a long-term vision for developing officials is needed if we are to address the fall-off in the numbers.” 

See more about Tutoring and Assessing with Sport Structures.