As the lead up to Female Football Week continues, we spoke with Aniela Knight, a young female referee who is breaking barriers and making a significant impact in the male-dominated world of football officiating. The start of Aniela’s journey as a referee is a testament to her passion for the sport and her dedication to the game.
“Gender has no bearing on good decision making and leadership as a referee. It is important that young girls see this in practice.” Aniela reflected.
Aniela’s interest in becoming a referee was sparked when she came across the “Women in Football Scholarship Program” advertised by Football NSW in late 2022. The opportunity to work outdoors, stay active, and be paid while watching football matches was enough to get going.
In our conversation, Aniela shared her insights and experiences as a female referee, highlighting the importance of representation and encouraging other women to join this exciting field.
- Despite the common perception of challenges faced by female referees in a male-dominated sport, Aniela has experienced a welcoming and supportive environment so far.
- She emphasises that the senior referees she has worked with, both male and female, have been instrumental in providing guidance and encouragement.
- Aniela firmly believes that gender should not determine one’s ability to excel as a referee, and she approaches every match with confidence, whether she is officiating boys or girls.
- When asked about advice for other females interested in becoming referees, Aniela passionately encourages them to take the leap.
- Aniela firmly believes in the importance of having more female referees in the sport.
Let us applaud Aniela Knight for her commitment and celebrate that her presence on the field is a powerful reminder that talent, skill, and determination know no gender boundaries.