Rebecca Welch turns into first girl to ref English Soccer League match

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Rebecca Welch smashed another glass ceiling for women today, becoming the first woman to ref a League Two match.

Rebecca Welch smashed one other glass ceiling for girls right now, turning into the primary girl to ref a League Two match.
Illustration: AP

When Rebecca Welch sounded the opening whistle throughout right now’s Harrogate City and Port Vale tilt, she grew to become the primary girl to referee an English Soccer League recreation.

“I used to be simply given the appointment and I used to be over the moon however while you form of replicate on it you suppose you’re the primary girl ever to do that, so I’m extraordinarily proud and my household’s extraordinarily proud as properly,” she mentioned earlier than the match.

 “I’ve at all times mentioned all through all my promotions, I need to be promoted on advantage, moderately than an appointment primarily based on anything,” Welch mentioned. “Within the final 10 years I’ve put plenty of arduous work and dedication in and I’ve reaped the rewards from that.”

Welch is the lead ref for right now’s recreation, a historic first for a League Two match. However the limitations gained’t cease breaking there. She thinks a lady will officiate England’s high stage, The Premier League, of males’s soccer quickly sufficient — “within the subsequent 10 to fifteen years” she mentioned.

Sian Massey-Ellis already serves as an assistant referee within the Premier League, somebody Welch thinks younger lady referees already look as much as.

Again stateside, American girls have damaged limitations in refereeing, too. Simply this 12 months, Sarah Thomas grew to become the primary girl to officiate a Tremendous Bowl. And in March, the NFL additionally employed its second feminine official and first Black girl in Maia Chaka.

“I do suppose it’s vital to indicate that girls who’re within the high one p.c of their class can proceed to the following stage,” Welch added. “So it undoubtedly makes others down the interval lookup and know that they’ll obtain the identical.”

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