Coaches and referees learned skills in sports such as swimming ©Getty Images

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) is set to get underway with the second stage of its development programme for coaches and referees, through an event beginning today in Tashkent.

Scheduled to take place until Monday (November 7), a total of 217 participants from 12 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) across Central and South Asia are to enhance their officiating skills in boxing, judo, swimming, weightlifting and wrestling.

"It is exciting times, the OCA is breaking new ground by taking its development programme on the road," said Tony Tarraf, the OCA's head of athletes development department and social projects.

"Previously we hosted the inaugural programme at our headquarters in Kuwait, and now we are ready to take the next step forward.

"We have got the full support from the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan as well as the backing from the International Federations and Asian Federations who have sent some of their leading people to conduct the practical and theory lessons.

"We received widespread positive feedback from all the NOCs in West Asia, and even the International Federations and Asian Federations, following the first stage. 

"This is not only an opportunity to learn, but also a platform to network and exchange ideas with peers from different countries."

Wrestling was another sport on the programme for coaches and referees ©Getty Images
Wrestling was another sport on the programme for coaches and referees ©Getty Images

The previous programme in Kuwait was accommodated for 12 NOCs over nine sports, with a total of 520 coaches and referees attending.

Nations that participated this time were Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Another course on the programme is expected to be held next year for NOCs from East Asia and Southeast Asia.