Eighteen year old Austin Bart of Bath Village in Nevis, is making waves as an Assistant referee in St. Kitts and Nevis.
According to Mr. Jamir Claxton, Director of Sports on Nevis, young Bart recently officiated in a regional under 14 Football tournament held in Martinique.
More significantly, he featured in one of the semifinal encounters and the grand finals.
The softly spoken Bart indicated that it all started when he was watching a local Football game, at the tender age of 13 and Malcolm Ramsey, a FIFA qualified Referees’ Assesor, spotted him and asked him to ‘run the lines’ for him.
He complied and made a call and Ramsey indicated that it was correct call. He later made another call but was not actually sure if it was the correct call and Ramsey quizzed him about it and then educated him on that aspect of the game.
The rest is history. He was soon enrolled in the Referees’ classes that are being conducted by Ramsey on a weekly basis and has since officiated in local games in Nevis and probably his biggest moment yet, he was fortunate to be called to officiate in the SKNFA’s grand tournament’s semifinal and finals, alongside his more seasoned and established fellow villager, Mario Parry, who is incidentally a product of Malcolm Ramsey’s classes, along with FIFA referee, Kimbell Ward, who is also a product of Malcolm Ramsey’s schooling.
Jamir Claxton further pointed to the fact that too many times when young men are mentioned in the media, it is generally not good news and so he was extremely heartened that this young man had taken paths that are positive.
He further noted that during his stint in Martinique, Bart was able to stay in one of the top hotels and got paid for his tour of duty in US dollars.
He used the opportunity to encourage other young men and women to enroll with Malcom Ramsey in his endeavour to continue to produce top notch officials from St. Kitts and Nevis.
Bart also concurred and noted that a lot of young men are coming forward but he would like to see more young women take up the challenge.
When quizzed on whether he would like to remain a Referee’s Assistant or become a full-fledged Referee, he quickly indicated that he would prefer to remain a Referee’s Assistant.
He vowed to continue to learn and grow and hopes one day to feature on the international stage.