The NRL has been a fixture of Australian sport for 111 years.
And for 111 years there’s never been a female top flight referee officiating a match in the professional game, until now.
Enter Belinda Sharpe.
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The 31-year-old’s first match will be Canterbury and Brisbane on Thursday night at Suncorp stadium and we couldn’t be more excited for her.
The former newspaper sub-editor for the Courier Mail has been a rising star in the refereeing ranks for sometime now, working part time as a touch judge since 2014.
Belinda Sharpe will create history on Thursday night by becoming the first female to referee an NRL game. She will officiate our game against the Bulldogs. #bronxnation
— BroncosHQ.com (@BroncosHQ) July 15, 2019
In 2015, she began referring Queensland Cup matches, worked the 2017 World Cup and handled a Broncos’ trial match against Wynnum-Manly in February this year.
In May, she was upgraded to a full-time referee contract after spending the off-season making sure her fitness level was up to scratch.
“At that stage I was just focused on coming down to Sydney and joining the full-time squad and getting my feet into that environment,” Sharpe told NRL.com.