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In It for the Long Term - Featuring: Nava Rajabi

By Staff, 09/19/17, 11:30AM EDT

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Talking with match officials about their development

Play. Inspire. Unite. 

A five-year strategic initiative, the Long Term Official Development (LTOD) program is now an integral part of what Ontario Soccer delivers.

LTOD will provide a standards-based education and development program, through strong leadership, inclusivity and support. 

As part of that, the In It For The Long Term series puts a focus on the match officials who are dedicated to their role and are taking their development seriously. 

This week, In It For The Long Term speaks with Nava Rajabi, a Grade 8 District Official from the South West Region

Tell us a little about why you wanted to become a match official?

My passion for soccer was passed on to me by my dad, and as a young soccer player I realized my future would be limited due to injuries and lack of planning. When I learned that refereeing could be a new opportunity and different manner of being involved in soccer I took the chance and never looked back. 

How has calling games in OPDL helped to improve your performance as an official?

The great thing about officiating in OPDL is that you are often given great opportunities to grow as a referee.

Whether it is simply to have the expectation to arrive in professional clothing, to receiving mentorship after a match, to set expectations for all parties involved; from the volunteers, to the team officials and match officials. The little things enhance the learning experience immensely. 

Tell us a little about the development support you have received and how it has helped you reach your goals?

Support is everywhere within the referee community which is incredible. So many individuals have assisted in my development as a referee on and off the pitch. I have received advice, feedback, and challenging appointments which has allowed me to improve my officiating in different aspects.

What would you like to achieve as a match official and how are you working to achieve that?

As a match official I am constantly learning, I certainly believe that is the ultimate goal, and with hard work and an open ear you can go as far as you desire with refereeing.

How do you see LTOD helping you advance as a Match Official?

I believe that the long term official development program is a great thing that has been created because it gives referees the opportunity to determine if they like to pursue officiating as a hobby or as long term goal. Knowing that if I like to pursue officiating at a higher level it is indeed possible because the program wants match officials to progress as well, and not just players.

Learn more about Long-Term Match Officials Development

If you want to learn more about LTOD and what it could mean for your development as a match official, visit the LTOD section on the Ontario Soccer website. 

Nava RAJABI

Nava RAJABI

Grade 8 District Official | South West Region