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Eleven Junior Rugby Players earned Refereeing Qualifications at Rugby Park last weekend in a series of courses facilitated by the NT Rugby Unions's  Development Team in conjunction with Alex Richards, the Referee Education Coordinator for the NSW Rugby Union.

There were four courses delivered across the weekend targeting different levels of participation with twenty nine participants.

The “Refereeing Kids Rugby'’ Course designed specifically for Under 8-12 Matches received fourteen enrollments of which ten were players under the age of eighteen (Ryan Otto, Talia Holt, Ethan Muller, William Latu, Aidan Holt, Cody Akers, Catherine Burns, Charlotte Elcoate, Jayden Carpenter and  Jonah Wistrand) 

With Refereeing numbers significantly depleted in 2017 and a spike in participation in Women’s Rugby it was poignant that nine persons under-took the Foundation Course for Referees of which five were female (Rebecca Dunbar, Sue Stanway, Ellie Hills, Anita Lew-Fatt and Caitlin Ryan)

Along with Junior Representative Player Matthew Maurice and three others, graduates of the Foundation Course are eligible to Referee both Junior and Senior Matches. 

Elizabeth Stedman completed both the Refereeing Kids Rugby and Level 1 Assistant Referee Courses.

The weekend also featured a Foundation Course for Coaches with Damien Carey, Kelvin Muller, Sam Dodds, Stuart Litster, Angus Johnstone and Anita Lew-Fatt seeking qualification.

The next stage of Coach Education will be two “Coaching Kids Rugby” Courses at Moulden Oval on 16th March and Land Rover Rugby Park on 23rd March.

The newly accredited Referees will receive Coaching and Mentoring during the season and a chance to earn some pocket money while still hands-on and playing  Rugby on Friday Nights.

Remuneration is also available to those who referee Senior Matches.

The above  photo from 2009 depicts a thirteen year old Declan Howard who was assessed by the ARU’s Paul Marks, a Test Match Referee who was quoted in the NT News as follows”

"Declan did an outstanding job,"

"He has a very good feel for the game. He picked up very quickly infringements and also developed and allowed play to go on for the infringements that didn't have any affect.

"I find that outstanding in a 13-year-old."

Anyone interested in Refereeing and Coaching Courses and Accreditation can still get involved by contacting;

Caitlin Ryan

Pathway Development Manager

Northern Territory Rugby Union

Ph: +61 (0)8 8945 1444

M: +61 (0)447 264 391


Josh Phillips

Participation Development Manager

Northern Territory Rugby Union

Ph: +61 (0)8 8945 1444

M: +61 (0)403 525 349

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.