Rising Star in Ugandan Refereeing: Jabeth Elly Ojilong

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Jabeth Elly Ojilong, 17, selected for CAF Championship.
Began refereeing early, officiated Uganda Premier League match.
Inspired by Mike Dean, dreams of World Cup officiating.
Supported by USSSA program, balances academics and sports.

Jabeth Elly Ojilong, a prodigious 17-year-old attending Form Five at Amus College, has etched his name in Ugandan sports history. He stands out as the sole Ugandan referee chosen for the esteemed CAF Pan African Schools Football Championship. This significant event, slated for May 21st to 24th in Zanzibar, showcases the prowess of two renowned Ugandan institutions: St. Mary’s Kitende and Kawempe Muslim Secondary School.

Early Beginnings and Rapid Rise

Jabeth’s journey in refereeing began at an early age. Born to Amoding Caroline and Ojilong Samuel, Jabeth has always been passionate about football. His early involvement in local matches laid the foundation for his refereeing career. Demonstrating a keen eye for the game and a commitment to fairness, he quickly rose through the ranks. By 2022, he was officiating in international championships, including the CAF Pan African Schools Football Championship qualifiers in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

Breaking Ground in National Competitions

Jabeth’s dedication and talent earned him a spot as the second assistant referee in the Uganda Premier League game between Express and SC Villa. This experience was pivotal, providing him with the exposure and confidence needed to handle high-stakes matches. His performance in national competitions showcased his potential and earned him respect in the Ugandan football community.

Mentorship and Role Models

A key factor in Jabeth’s development has been his role model, Mike Dean, a renowned English referee known for his authoritative presence on the field. Inspired by Dean’s career, Jabeth aspires to reach the pinnacle of refereeing by officiating at the World Cup. This lofty goal drives him to continually improve his skills and knowledge of the game.

The Road to Zanzibar

The CAF Pan African Schools Football Championship is a crucial stepping stone for young referees like Jabeth. The tournament not only highlights the best football talent across Africa but also provides a platform for referees to gain invaluable experience. For Jabeth, this is an opportunity to represent Uganda on an international stage and to demonstrate his capabilities as a top-tier referee.

Support from USSSA

Jabeth’s achievements are also a testament to the Uganda Secondary Schools Sports Association (USSSA) capacity building program. This initiative focuses on developing young talent in various sports disciplines, offering training and exposure that are critical for growth. Through USSSA, Jabeth received structured training that enhanced his refereeing skills and prepared him for challenges at higher levels of competition.

Balancing Academics and Sports

Balancing his refereeing commitments with his academic responsibilities at Amus College is no small feat. Jabeth manages to excel in both areas, thanks to a strong support system from his family and school. His mother, Amoding Caroline, and father, Ojilong Samuel, have been instrumental in encouraging his pursuits, ensuring he maintains a healthy balance between education and his passion for football.

Future Aspirations

Looking ahead, Jabeth remains focused on his dream of officiating at the World Cup. He understands that this goal requires continuous effort, learning, and dedication. Each match he officiates brings him one step closer to realizing this dream. As he prepares for the CAF Pan African Schools Football Championship, he is determined to make a lasting impression and pave the way for future opportunities.

Jabeth Elly Ojilong’s selection for the CAF Pan African Schools Football Championship is a proud moment for Uganda, highlighting the country’s potential in producing world-class football referees.

Elly’s background

Early Life and Family: Jabeth Elly Ojilong, born to Amoding Caroline and Ojilong Samuel, is a 17-year-old Ugandan student.
Education: He is a Form Five student at Amus College, balancing academics with his passion for football.

Refereeing Start: Jabeth began his refereeing journey in his early teenage years, displaying exceptional talent and dedication.

Professional Milestones: He earned his FUFA badge, officiating in local and national competitions, including a Uganda Premier League match.

Role Model: Inspired by renowned referee Mike Dean, Jabeth aspires to officiate at the World Cup.

Support and Training: Supported by the USSSA capacity building program, he effectively balances his academic pursuits with his refereeing career.

Courtesy photo

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