Young referee steps up
GYMPIE whistle blower Jon Kennedy is a rising star in the ranks of rugby league referees.
Today the 22-year-old will officiate his first game in the Toyota Cup, a match between the Melbourne Storm and the Gold Coast Titans on the Gold Coast.
Kennedy is no stranger to the Toyota Cup, having run the lines on numerous occasions, but this will be his first outing controlling the middle of the field.
His rise up the referee rankings was given a boost after the recent 18 Years National Championships in Sydney.
Kennedy, who trains with the Queensland Referees Academy, was selected to officiate the prestigious grand final between the NSWCCC and the Queensland Schoolboys.
The NSW side won 20-4 and Kennedy told QRL media it was the fastest game he had ever officiated.
He was selected to referee the final after three impressive displays during the carnival, including the semi-final.
The Gympie league junior has already officiated in the 2010 FOGS Colts grand final between Easts and Tigers at Suncorp Stadium and controlled the middle at the women’s State of Origin match held in Gympie last year at Albert Park.
His goal is to referee in the Intrust Super Cup, but if he keeps improving he may find himself in the NRL.
Kennedy, the son of Imbil Police Sergeant Terry Kennedy and his wife Karen, is studying to become a pilot at the Airline Academy of Australia at Archerfield airport.
He told the QRL there were many similarities between refereeing and his pilot studies, with discipline and time management among the most notable.
Kennedy, who is now based at Taringa, will finish his studies in 12 months time.