Top Asian rugby referee to hold coaching clinics
By Jude Lizama
Variety News Staff
THE GUAM Rugby Football Union will be holding an International Rugby Board Referee Level 1 clinic at the Wettengel Rugby Field in Dededo.
The extraordinary part of the camp is the fact that top Asian Rugby referee Taizo Hirabayashi will be on island to make available his vast knowledge and conduct the two-day clinic.
“Hirabayashi is only 32 years but is the top referee in Asia and one of the top 40 referees in the world,” said Stephen Grantham, President of the Guam Rugby Football Union. “We are honored and fortunate that with the assistance of Ambyth Shipping and the International Rugby Board, we are able to welcome Taizo to Guam,” he added.
Hirabayashi has officiated rugby matches in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Great Britain, France, Malaysia, China, USA, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Tonga, the United Arab Emirates, and Guam.
According to a Planet Rugby article about Hirabayashi, out of roughly 5,000 referees in the country of Japan, he is the top one. As stated earlier, Hirabayashi has previously come to Guam. “Taizo appeared as a match official in Guam’s first international in 2005 but he has also been a regular tourist enjoying Guam’s weather and hospitality,” stated Grantham.
The GRFU President elaborated on the purpose for Hirabayashi’s visit.
“The course he is holding is part of the ongoing Ambyth Coach and Referee Pathway series. These pathways are designed to allow and encourage coaches and match officials to develop their own skills and abilities alongside the development of players,” explained Grantham.
“This particular course is for referees participating in the upcoming IIAAG High School season,” he added.
Grantham said that Hirabayashi will lead classroom and on site instruction throughout the week.
“Taizo will run a classroom course on Wednesday and Thursday evening and will attend the High School Jamboree on Saturday to observe and advise his new protégés,” he explained.
Both the IRB Referee Level 1 clinic and High School Jamboree will take place at the Wettengel Rugby Field.