NRL could see its first female whistler

The NRL could see it’s first female referee if Kasey Badger continues to progress, as she is set to make her debut in the Toyota Cup.

 Kasey, wife to current NRL whistler Gavin Badger, has taken only eight years to referee in Australia’s Under 20s competition and will create history by becoming the first woman to do so.

If she continues to progress, she could reach the NRL quicker than Gavin did when he made his debut in 2003.

But she says just because she is a woman and has an experienced husband, there hasn’t been any special treatment.

She said: “I know I’ve got an apprenticeship to serve and I know it can seem like the longest apprenticeship in the world sometimes. Just ask Gavin, it took him 16 years.

“I don’t work as hard as I do or train as hard as I do for nothing.”

However Kasey says the fact she is a woman means she has had a hard time from people on the sidelines throughout her career.

She said: “I’ve copped it hard. One guy even said ‘That’s why women shouldn’t be allowed to referee’.

“But that’s nothing new. That doesn’t bother me. They’ll throw out different lines at me but I think the level of abuse I get is the same as other referees.”

“Generally the players are really good. They might be a bit more careful around me. The crowd are the worst.”

Having the support of a loving husband, who is also a first grade referee, does have its advantages. However Gavin believes Kasey will be able to handle anything thrown at her on her own.

Gavin said: “She’s got no problem yelling at me so I’ve got no doubt she can handle herself out there. She can hold her own with anyone.”

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