The Multichoice Diski Challenge is about giving an opportunity and empowering youngsters involved in the beautiful game, and on Saturday the tournament continued to live up to its reputation.
A 17-year-old referee, Othusitse Modise, took charge of the match between defending champions University of Pretoria and Orlando Pirates. Speaking to supersport.com after the match the young ref said it was a great experience.
“I was scared at the beginning of the game but now am feeling a bit calm because I have realised my mistakes and am looking forward to correcting them,” said Modise.
“For me it came naturally. I don’t usually practice but one thing I do is study the laws of the game. Actually it should be the other way round, I should be fit when it comes to the theory of laws but am equally happy to be physically fit too.”
Hailing from the North West in Phokeng, ref Modise revealed how he got into the whistle blowing business and hailed mentor Chris Harrison, who doubles up as a school teacher and a Premier Soccer League referee.
“It all began at school,” said Modise.
“One of the PSL referees is my school teacher, Chris Harrison, and he started a refereeing course at the school. The referees that he selected were refereeing a match that I was playing in and that is when I started getting interested in the profession because in soccer it’s very hard out there. So I started from school and up until now I am still getting help from him and all other guys around,” he added
“My role model is Chris Harrison, he does a lot of things, he is a teacher, a referee, a music teacher, does sign language and a lot of other things but he still manages to balance them all together,” he continued
A student at the Lebone II College of the Royal Bafokeng, Modise has big ambitions in as far as his career is concerned and believes the Diski Challenge will be the springboard for him to do the job at the highest level.
“I always tell my friends that one day I would like to do a game with Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Robben, Ribbery and all those other big international guys. I would like to get to the Fifa level, that’s where I have set my sights,” Modise told supersport.com.
“This has been something that I have always looked forward to, I mean I can’t be chosen to be a referee just to stay there at the bottom level. I have always wanted to come to the top level because when we practise with other referees they tell me about the atmosphere at the stadiums; its packed and people will boo you but that’s an experience that I have been looking forward to,” concluded Modise.