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HKRU REFEREES SCALE NEW HEIGHTS IN SOUTH AFRICA

[18 May 2023] The HKRU was thrilled to support Sunny Lee and Gabriel Lee Wing-yi for their recent invitation to the World Rugby Match Officials High Performance Academy in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Led by seasoned international referees Alain Rolland and Marius Jonker, the development programme encourages individuals to understand more about their unique personalities and how to apply this knowledge to their refereeing skills and standards.

This was followed by a series of workshops to break down individual laws and micro-areas of the game. Participants finished off by refereeing a game under the watchful gaze of the coaches and received feedback on their performance.

A popular and well-known figure both on and off the pitch, Sunny is rapidly rising through the Hong Kong match official ranks and was selected to attend the programme off the back of performing extremely well in the recent Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens (assistant referee) and Hong Kong Football Club 10s tournament (referee).

Sunny is a fantastic role model for girls in the rugby community and wants to encourage even more young women to put their hand up and give refereeing a go!

“Hong Kong has a well-developed women’s rugby structure, and we have a quality women’s premiership. It’s a good stepping stone for female referees to experience and be selected for even higher levels of competition.”

“Becoming a referee can help you get involved in all these amazing experiences which I could never have imagined before. Don’t be afraid to take the first step, it might be difficult at the beginning but everything will be worth once you get to see the world!”


On the other side of the whistle, Gabriel Lee has had a long and illustrious refereeing career, including officiating at the Asian Games, the Women’s Rugby Sevens World Cup and on the HSBC World Sevens Series. Lee’s invitation to Stellenbosch was in a coaching capacity, where she hopes to help aspiring referees hone their craft:

“I always like to share my experiences in rugby, and do more on the development side. This programme is my CMO starting point, and I would like to develop more referees in Hong Kong, and I hope we can get more local referees to attend World Rugby competitions.”

“World Rugby is looking for referee talent around the world – if we invest and make time for it, we can go far. Take up the whistle now, get your experience, and you could be the next Rugby World Cup Referee!”

HKRU Head of Refereeing Matt Rodden is keen to see more of these opportunities in the future:

“It’s fantastic to see our referees get these opportunities and perform so well on the world stage. It just goes to show that there is a pathway out there to achieve as a match official at any level and we’d encourage anyone to give refereeing a go, regardless of their other rugby roles or experience.”

If you’d like to know more about becoming a referee in Hong Kong, e-mail matthew.rodden@hkrugby.com for details and upcoming courses.


Information and Photo source : Hong Kong Rugby Union

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