The Kenya Rugby Referees Association (KRRA) has seen an increase in the number of upcoming female officials in the recent years.
The six young ladies who are making a name for themselves in the Officiating field are Mercy Murugi, Faith Mlongo, Mary Wambui, Knight Otwoma, Mercy Dudi and Maureen Ambani. All between the 20-25 age bracket.
Murugi has officiated in four High School matches as a center referee.
She credits her introduction to rugby to Innocent Kimathi, one of Kenya’s top referees who introduced her to the sport during one of the rugby matches at UpperHill School where she was working as a Teacher on Practice.
One of her goals is to work in the training and development department of the sport with a focus on girls’ schools.
“My major goal is to train and develop young girl’s, my focus is to nurture the girls’ schools,” said Murugi
Mlongo is a 25-year old referee who started off as a Mghalu High School player and later shifted her focus from playing to officiating once she completed her Secondary School education.
She is currently working in the Taveta Water and Sewerage Company and intends to grow her officiating journey.
Said Faith “I have officiated in 15 matches since I joined this path back in in the year 2015.”
Wambui is another referee, who apart from being a referee, has been a regular player during the KRU Women’s Festival, she turns out for the Impala Ladies.
She is also a Community Development student at the Kenya School of Professional Studies who was introduced to the sport by her friends who are already officials.
Since she didn’t have a good grasp of the sport, she opted to start off as a player before focusing on the refereeing aspect of the sport.
Her long term goal is to officiate the Kenya Cup Final and work her way up the ranks to the HSBC World Sevens Series.
Mary said “I also have plans on introducing rugby in the local areas that are yet to learn about the sport and teach the kids the core values that guide this sport.”
She officiated the Strathmore and KCB ESS match on the 9th of February at the Madaraka Grounds.
Ambani is another umpire. The Kenyatta University student, studying Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Sports Management, has in the past refereed in ten High School Games
Dudi has been one of the Safari7s, Kenya Cup League, 2017/2018 National Sevens Circuit and the Women’s Festivals match officials in the last two years.
Others who’ve joined the league of officiating include Knight Otwoma, (a level one accredited Match Official) who played an instrumental role in founding the Kisumu Women’s Team, Kisumu RFC.
Other female referee’s include Noreen Liyosi, Beryl Akinyi, Mary Musieka, Irene Owino and Peris Mukoko who have already made a name for themselves in the Officiating World.