South Africa’s leading female referee Aimee Barrett-Theron will add another big feat to her growing list of achievements on Friday when she becomes the first female referee to officiate the SA Rugby U20 Championship final in Welkom.
The Griffons will line up against the Limpopo Blue Bulls in the clash, which will be hosted at the HT Pelatona Projects Stadium, at 13h30.
Jaco van Heerden, meanwhile, will take charge of the Currie Cup First Division final between the Down Touch Griffons and the Leopards at 16h00.
Barrett-Theron’s meteoric rise through the domestic and international referee ranks has seen her become the first female referee to be included on SA Rugby’s national B Panel, take charge of an Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week match, officiate at the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland, the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and on the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series circuit among other achievements in the last two seasons.
She also had the honour of being the first female referee to officiate a men’s match in the FNB Varsity Shied presented by Steinhoff International earlier this year.
“This is a big honour and a really big step forward, so I am excited about the challenge,” said Barrett-Theron. “There is an exceptional group of referees that could have been appointed to take charge of the match, so I am delighted that SA Rugby had faith in me to do the honours.
“I have officiated a handful of SA Rugby U19 and U20 Championship matches since arriving back from the Women’s Rugby World Cup, and I am very comfortable on the field.
“The pace is certainly faster than women’s rugby, and a final always presents a different challenge, but I am looking forward to it.”