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SA’s top women referees put through their paces

The SA Rugby’s women’s refereeing panel kicked off the 2018 season in Stellenbosch last weekend with a pre-season camp which featured a refresher course on the laws of the game, writing their annual exam and being put through their paces with a fitness test.

The three-day camp marked the second year in a row that the women’s panel had their own pre-season get-together, and this time they had the luxury of working with ground-breaking female referee Aimee Barrett-Theron, who is now balancing her busy refereeing schedule with coaching the women’s panel.

The camp kicked off on Friday with law presentations and video analysis, which was followed the next day by a fitness test, presentations by the referees on specific areas of the game and an inspirational session with Barrett-Theron who offered advice on what they needed to do to progress through the referee structures both locally and internationally. The camp concluded on Sunday with a written exam.

‘Our women referees play an equally important role to their male counterparts, which is why we opted to host a separate pre-season camp for them once again,’ said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

‘We want all of our referees to feel comfortable expressing themselves and sharing their experiences on the field in an environment in which they feel free to participate, and this camp allowed us to achieve that with the women’s panel.’

SA Rugby Manager: Referees, Banks Yantolo, was delighted with the camp and said: ‘It was fantastic to see our female referees interact with members of our referee department and Aimee, who has been an inspirational figure with her growing list of achievements as a referee.

‘We pride ourselves on our structures, so we hope some of these ladies will follow Aimee’s lead by continuing to put in the hard yards off the field and ensuring that they make the most of the opportunities they receive.’

In the picture (from left to right) Bulela Qwane, Cameron Dyers, Lusanda Mtiya, Le-Ann MacClune, Siyanda Ketse, Maria Mabote and Ashleigh Murray