With the countdown well and truly on for the upcoming Harvey Norman Women’s National Championships to be held at Pizzey Park from May 18, Victoria will have one of its very own running up and down the touch line.
Victorian referee Kasey McFarlane has been selected as a touch judge at the upcoming Harvey Norman Women’s National Championships, part of what is an entirely female referee squad chosen for the tournament.
Having refereed in Melbourne for several years now, McFarlane has earnt the opportunity to learn from some of the games best at the upcoming nationals, an opportunity she said she hopes to take with both hands.
“I definitely think this could lead to future opportunities as I know it has for other referees that have gone up to nationals in the past,” she said.
“I’m hoping to learn a lot off the referees and the referee coaching staff as well as those girls that have previously gone up,” she said.
“I’m definitely keen to bring some of the stuff I learn up there back down here in Victoria.”
Part of an all-female squad, McFarlane said she was eager to play her role in helping to promote female referees, especially on such a big stage like nationals.
“Having worked down here in Victoria I’m used to working with the guys but now it’s an all-girls team up there which will be different to what I’m used too but also very exciting,”
“It’s actually really good to see that it’s all-girls for the nationals, it helps to promote the girls out there as well,” she said.
Having started her refereeing journey in the younger grades, McFarlane said one of the most rewarding aspects of being a referee is getting the chance to watch the younger generation of players come through the ranks.
“It’s nice to teach the younger kids and watch them grow up, it’s great to have them come up to you at home games years later, they’ll always say ‘hey I remember you from back in the day’ which is always nice,” she said.
Referees Coordinator Brad Levy said it's been pleasing to see McFarlane blossom from a quiet and reserved youngster to someone that has embraced new challenges in recent seasons.
“Kasey joined the Victorian Referees Association several years ago and was quite shy and reserved, and a lacked a fair degree of confidence in the very early stages but since then she has blossomed into a much more confident junior Referee,” he said.
“She has been extremely supportive of our more experienced Referees on their touch lines in senior men’s and senior women’s matches in recent seasons,” he said.
“Kasey has come back from several serious operations this year and is regaining her confidence and her movement around the park," he said.
“She was selected to attend the National Championships in order to gain more experience, to get some exposure to more advanced levels of Rugby League, and to engage with other young female Referees from around the country,” Levy said.
“We are keen to see Kasey’s development as a Referee and Touch Judge and are very excited for her as she embraces this fantastic opportunity”.