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Record number of female officials take part in ASC officiating program

Record number of female officials take part in ASC officiating program
February 4, 2015

Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Chief Executive Simon Hollingsworth has announced a record number of female officials will take part in the prestigious 2015 National Officiating Scholarship program.

Hollingsworth explained “for the first time in the 13 year history of the program, rugby league, rugby union and cricket have all nominated female referees and umpires.

“This is a significant step forward in what have traditionally been male dominated sports.

“This year there are eight female officials among the group of 22 successful applicants and while this still leaves room for improvement it reflects the growing success of women in the top echelon of sports officiating.

“Just last weekend we saw two of the 2015 recipients, Belinda Sleeman and Kasey Badger, in action in Auckland as part of the refereeing squads for NRL Nines as well as the international matches between the Jillaroos and the Kiwi Ferns.

“Sport can’t exist without the expertise and hard work of our officials whether they are operating at the grass roots or elite level.

“I congratulate all successful applicants in the 2015 program and wish you all the best in your future officiating careers.”

The National Officiating Scholarship program has provided tuition and mentoring to more than 180 officials with some high profile success stories including: Jarred Gillett – football (FIFA – A League Final), Nick Foot – AFL, Andrew Lees – rugby union (Super Rugby), Simon Fry – cricket (ICB), Robert Leak – tennis (Australian Open Mixed Final), Aaron Leo – volleyball (National Finals), Ryan Arblaster – swimming (Olympics).

This year the 22 successful officials will receive tuition from specialists in the areas of psychology, nutrition, recovery, media, communication and social media.

To complement these individual sessions, participants will have the opportunity to work with current and former high profile officials throughout their development year.

The scholarship induction will run from Wednesday 25 February to Sunday 1 March on the Gold Coast.

2015 ASC National Officiating Scholarship Program Participants

• Aaron Langdon (AFL)
• Thomas Chrystie (AFL)
• Nathan Williamson (AFL)
• Alex Whetton (AFL)
• David Shepard (Cricket)
• Phillip Gillespie (Cricket)
• Claire Polosak (Cricket)
• Matt Southern (Football)
• Sarah Wikeley (Football)
• Rhiannon Murray (Hockey)
• Janelle Bond (Hockey)
• Tyson Brough (Rugby League)
• Damian Briscoe-Hugh (Rugby League)
• Belinda Sleeman (Rugby League)
• Kasey Badger (Rugby League)
• Jordan Way (Rugby Union)
• Nicholas Barry (Rugby Union)
• Rachel Horton (Rugby Union)
• Karen Donnell (Swimming)
• John Rohloff (Swimming)
• Thomas Sweeney (Tennis)
• Alireza Chitgar (Tennis)


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