South West Soccer Referees Association Celebrating 40 years of Soccer Refereeing

The South West Soccer Referees’ Association (SWSRA) is a non-profit organization that has a strong history in the southwest district of Ontario and is committed to the growth, development and overall improvement of match officials. The referee association has been around for 40 years servicing the beautiful game from grass roots to FIFA level.

Now entering into its 40th year, the association continues to be committed in assisting referees of all levels and abilities in their development as referees. The SWSRA holds regularly scheduled education sessions/seminars which highlight various aspects of soccer officiating. Through these sessions, referees have the ability to gain knowledge and discuss various aspects of soccer officiating with experienced match officials.

The vast majority of the association members officiate recreational and local competitive soccer from varying ages and competition levels. Over the years however, the association has been fortunate enough to have members elevate to higher levels of soccer officiating including numerous provincial, National and 3 FIFA referees.

SWSRA is also involved in events off the field including social activities, community involvement, referee recruitment and education sessions for active referees. As an association, the primary focus of the association remains unchanged and it aims to recruit, retain, educate and develop soccer referees.

From 1996 to 2008 the SWSRA was also involved with the Optimist club during the KW Oktoberfest to help raise money for various charities which are supported by the club.

Over the past 4 seasons, referees from our association have, and continue to be involved in the Grand River Soccer Club (GRSC) ‘Kick 4 Cure’ charity soccer tournament which is held in February each year on family day to raise money for cancer research for the Grand River hospital.

In cooperation, the GRSC and SWSRA are working together to hold a charity outdoor tournament in the last week of April. This tournament serves as a preseason outdoor event to prepare the teams for the outdoor season. The revenue generated from events such as this is beneficial for seeking further educational improvements to greater enhance the development of match officials within our southwest district.

As of November 2016, our newly elected executive team includes current Major League Soccer (MLS) and former FIFA referee SilviuPetrescu. Silviu was a FIFA referee for 13 years which makes him the longest serving Canadian referee on the FIFA list.

In 2012, Silviu also received the ‘Referee of the Year’ award by MLS.

We are extremely fortunate to have a well decorated individual such as Silviu to lead the education programs for our match officials.

After 40 years, SWSRA is still committed in continuing to serve, support and grow the beautiful game of soccer.

President Vice President Education Director Director at Large Secretary Treasurer

Leon Tipovski Alex Themistocleous Silviu Petrescu Reza Mir Miri David Vrljic Bruce McKie