Heat stars give refereeing a go

Heat stars give refereeing a go

Four Counties Energy Heat stars took the whistle and refereed Girls Secondary Schools competition games last weekend in a new initiative aimed at growing referee numbers.

Wahine with Whistles will take place at Navigation Homes Stadium next Wednesday [May 10] from 6pm and is targeting new referees in the women’s and girls’ space and helping to better educate coaches and players around the nuances of refereeing.

The event is hosted by international referee Maggie Cogger-Orr.

Counties Heat stars Azania Watene, Margaret Manase, Harono Te Iringa and Katarina Enosa-Taifau controlled their first games recently and immediately gained a new-found respect for referees.

The thought of reffing a game is scary, you never want to be on the receiving end of criticism,” Enosa-Taifau said.

“I personally enjoyed the banter with the girls on the field; you get so into the game you don’t hear all that noise from the sideline.

“You might not find me back chatting to the refs but instead telling the ref to move to a better position to see,” she laughed.

Azania Watene, who is coaching the Pukekohe women’s team in the Coleman Shield this season, was also able to gain new perspective.

“It was a really cool learning experience for me. Managing 20 plus players on the field is very challenging. But I enjoyed being able to explain to the players what they were doing on the field that wasn’t allowed.

“I recommend it for all wahine involved in rugby. It helps with learning the rules, understanding what the refs have to deal with on the field, and can help with your own decision making as a player on the field.”

All wahine are welcome to attend the Wahine with Whistles course - Register here