North American Invitational 7s
Once again TRF's CEO, Phil Klevorick, travelled to the North American Invitational 7s in Utah primarily to manage the match official team but also to help spread the TRF and Rugby message.
The NAI7s is the largest youth rugby festival in the Americas featuring boys and girls teams from U14 to U23.
Making her debut on the 12 pitches at the NAI7s was experienced 7s referee Cara Senneka from Germany. Cara has been an active member of "7s Referee" for a few years and has travelled to Portugal, Gibraltar, UK and Dubai with the team. This year she (rightly given the weather) opted for Salt Lake City instead of the Isle of Wight.
Returning from her trip, she reflected on the experience. "I was very impressed by the quality of the rugby there because all these young athletes were so fit, skilled and showed excellent rugby." Speaking of one game she officiated in the girls U14 she commented "the level was so high, they would probably beat most of the German adult teams."
Cara worked not only on the U14 but also across a range of age grades. she officiated men's and women's U18 as well as the Elite U23 categories and was watched by a very supportive team of Match Official Coaches and Performance Reviewers. After being watched by Nick Ricono (USA Rugby Sevens Referee Manager) she was selected to referee the women's U18 elite final.
Off field one of the highlights for Cara was the rodeo. "The whole referee team of mosthan 70 referees went. I have never been to a rodeo before and it was a very interesting experience." She also continued to thank the event organisers and will be recommending the NAI7s to other referees in the future, "the tournament invested so much in developing referees by providing us valuable and experienced coaches"