TATHRA’S Shannon Shepherdson is a big time whistle blower.
Shannon has been rewarded for his refereeing efforts after he travelled to Perth recently to officiate at the under 12s National Rugby League Schoolboys Championships.
Shannon applied to take part at the championships after a very busy year working with Group 16.
He was highly recommended by his referees development officer Kevin Petty and the Group 16 referees secretary Norm Ingersole.
Shannon was rewarded for his continued efforts this year and set off to Perth.
The championships were at Rockingham and was held over seven days.
While there he refereed the QLD versus NSW invitational, ACT versus NSW and NSW versus QLD.
All the referees were assessed during the week based on their performance and eagerly awaited the announcement on Friday night as to who would be refereeing the finals the next day.
For his continued commitment and strong professionalism on the field, Shannon was awarded the honours of overseeing the grand final.
Shannon said he was nervous, but was very honoured to have been awarded the grand final.
“It was a great experience,” Shannon said.
“I met some other young refs like me from Darwin, QLD and around NSW,” he said.
Shannon began his refereeing career with the Group 16 at only 14 years old.
Travelling to gala days with fellow refs quickly became one of his favourite weekend activities and the passion has now seen him develop his skills and progress.
Early starts were no deterrent to his passion, and long drives all part and parcel of the job, with day trips to Moruya or Batemans Bay a regular event.
Shannon would jump at every opportunity, even if it meant a day off school.
As he got older he continued refereeing, and at only 15-years-old he was the centre referee for not one, but two junior grand finals.
Shannon adjudicated the under 11s and under 13s which really flared his love of the game.
Last year Shannon started doing sideline work with the senior league and officiated the under 14s grand final.
After his performance he was asked to join the South East Country Rugby League (CRL) development squad for 2013.
It has been a busy year.
After acquiring a level two referee certificate, he was in the centre for the Canberra Raiders and Melbourne Storm 16 and 18 years development squad representative trial games in Batemans Bay which were held in March.
Then in May he took on the CRL under 14 and under 15s championships at Ulladulla.
In June he was a touch judge for the CRL Senior Championships in Cooma, then travelled to Newcastle only a week later to referee the semi final at the CRL under 16 championships.
Shannon then applied for the U12 National Championships.
If you attend the Group 16 grand final this Sunday at the Bega Recreation Ground, you will no doubt see Shannon perfecting his craft and continuing his strong year.