Interviews,  world cup

WC refs prepare in the luxury of hotel Kievits Kroon

Tomorrow starts an exciting month with the kick-off of the World Cup in South Africa at 4pm local time. All the teams are preparing for the their first match at the World Cup. They’ve to work under great pressure and have to cope with late injuries, even the referee teams.

The tension is high, maybe in particular for the referees, because everyone is ready to make a judgement. Last week the referees of the first matches were announced. They’re all looking forward to a great tournament, maybe refereeing the final as the cherry on the cake. But how do they prepare for their matches? Krista North, Sales & Marketing manager of hotel Kievits Kroon, tells about the facilities and security in the referee hotel.

Krista North
Krista North (middle) after winning an AA Award for their hotel Kievits Kroon Photo provided by hotel
Please introduce yourself to the readers of the Dutch Referee blog.
I am the Sales & Marketing Manager for Kievits Kroon and in this position responsible for all things related to these areas, these include the sales for all departments in the hotel, conference rooms, bedrooms, spa and restaurants, and I have been involved in the selection and negotiation process with Match and FIFA for the referees to come to Kievits Kroon.

Who’s your favourite referee?
“I can’t say we have a favourite referee, all the referees are extremely nice and friendly to everyone at the hotel. They also seem to be such a close group, they get on very well with each other.”

How does it feel to have such a special guests in your hotel?
“This is a very special group of guests for Kievits Kroon. We had the pleasure in having them to the stay also in 2009 for the Confederations Cup and have found that the referees and FIFA are extremely pleasant guests to have staying with us. We feel we are involved in a small way in the enormous organisation that is the World Cup and have to make sure that all our guests are comfortable and enjoy their time on the estate, in order for them to perform their best during the tournament.”

Estate entrance of hotel Kievits Kroon Photo provided by hotel

What security measures did you take to guarantee the referee’s safety?
“We did not take any extra security measures, as a standard we have electric fencing on the perimeters of the estate and our security guards patrol the estate. All visitors are always registered at the entrance to the estate and announced to the person they are visiting on the estate. All other additional security measures have been implemented by the South African Police Services (SAPS).

What makes Kievits Kroon a good living for the referees during their time in South Africa?
“Kievits Kroon is located just outside of Pretoria in the countryside, and a secure and private home away from home for the referees. Our proximity is still within driving distance from all stadia in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Rustenburg and easy driving distance to the airport for the trip to the other stadia in South Africa. We are also located in the Highveld, which means an altitude of 1600m above sea level and this is also beneficial for any sports person. Some of the reasons of FIFA to choose Kievits Kroon as the venue for the referees was the fact that they have booked the estate exclusively, all bedrooms are of a very high standard, the main restaurant offers space for the whole group at one time, and our conference rooms work well for the groups as office space.”

How do you help referees in their match preparation?
“Our menus in the restaurants for the meals did not have to be changed very much, we offer many options on the buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it is up to the referee to make his choice for the meals, it depends on their requirements. We have a lot of space and gardens on the estate which are used for relaxation mostly, training facilities are in a different location. We have a health spa on the estate which has award winning thermae facilities (sauna, steam room, jacuzzi’s, Swiss showers and indoor heated pool) which the referees like to spend time in.”

“I would say our contribution to the preparation of the referees for the matches is to make sure that their home away from home is very comfortable and relaxing.”

Watch hotel Kievits Kroon on Google Streetview.


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