Female ref loves her footy

Rugby League referee Sam Hinchliffe runs the sideline during the A-grade game between Norths and Fitzroy at Browne Park recently.
Rugby League referee Sam Hinchliffe runs the sideline during the A-grade game between Norths and Fitzroy at Browne Park recently. Chris Ison

HEY girls – love your rugby league?

Why not join Rockhampton’s Sam Hinchliffe and become a referee and get the best seat in the house?

With the number of women involved in the game rapidly increasing, the Queensland Rugby League is holding a free female-only referees course at Browne Park on Sunday, April 17.

The Rockhampton Rugby League Referees’ Association already boasts three female referees in its ranks and welcomes more girls to join the growing trend. Sam is one of those referees.

The CQ TAFE operations support officer is in her fifth season officiating.

“I love refereeing footy,” Sam said.

“The sad thing is that sometimes it’s the best part of my week.

“Refereeing is a wonderful thing if you love your footy.”

QRL referees development officer Steve Hamilton said female referees were a great asset to any association.

“There are so many girls that love rugby league, and becoming a referee is a great way to be involved in the sport,” he said.

“It’s a great way to keep fit and make new friends.”

QRL women’s development officer and former Rockhampton ref Belinda Sleeman said the number of women becoming involved in rugby league was rapidly increasing each year.

“We now have more than 3000 females playing the game statewide, and more than 100 female referees,” Belinda said.

“In the past five years, we’ve experienced phenomenal growth in the number of women involved in the game, from grassroots volunteers to board members and employees.”

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