Sport

Will Belinda be the first female State of Origin referee?

Ref Belinda Sleeman on the field. Queensland Rangers vs NSW Country Bulls at Browne Park, Rockhampton. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
Ref Belinda Sleeman on the field. Queensland Rangers vs NSW Country Bulls at Browne Park, Rockhampton. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill

WATCHING rugby league on the weekends with her dad, Belinda Sleeman wanted nothing more than to be part of the sport.

She thought refereeing would get her close to the action.

At 18, Belinda approached the Rockhampton association and started refereeing junior games.

"I guess they were a little surprised," Belinda said.

"But they welcomed me with open arms."

Four years later Belinda joined the Queensland Rugby League Referees Academy in Brisbane and hasn't looked back. In November she was included in the NRL's Referee Elite Performance Unit Squad.

While she's happy to be refereeing part-time at the moment, Belinda said she hoped to become a long-term official.

"The opportunity I've been given through the NRL is really great," she said. "It's a pretty awesome job."

Athough Belinda could become the NRL's first female referee, she said it was far from a boy's club.

"It's just great to have women involved at any level of the game," she said.

"I think they're pretty used to me now.

"We seem to fit in pretty well."

Topics:  nrl, referee, state of origin




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Man stabbed in leg the latest incident after a horror week

Police generic, crime scene.  Photo Tessa Mapstone / South Burnett Times

Another man stabbed in Norman Gardens incident

Judge slams Rocky gym groper a 'serious menace to females'

Lengthy jail sentences have been handed to two men who used a crow bar to smash their way into and rob two pub workers at gunpoint.

Rocky gym groper to spend months behind bars for East Street assault

Neaton has her say on Central Queensland's suicide rates

ALP Candidate Leisa Neaton with Anthony Albanese in Rockhampton during the Federal Election campaign. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

Capricornia has lost more people to suicide than to the road toll.

Latest deals and offers

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked

Caloundra’s former Centrepoint Buffet site up for sale

FOR SALE: The home of the old Centrepoint Buffet

Restaurant fined for unhygienic practices closed months ago