Greensmith: Refereeing is a great way to stay involved
Referee Amanda Greensmith who will officiate her first Munster Schools match in Rosbrien, Limerick when the St Clement's College junior side host PBC.
A native of Ballyhea, Co Cork, Greensmith started her rugby career at Charleville RFC aged 19 where she spent two seasons before joining Shannon.
In her second year playing rugby, the full-back was selected on the Munster Women's squad in 1999; she represented her province for 12 seasons, claimed 10 interpro titles.
She went on to play for Ireland from 2002-07 winning over 20 caps.
Since April 2010 Greensmith has been employed as Women's Community Rugby Officer with Munster Rugby and following retirement from her playing career took up refereeing in January 2015.
"Two years after my retirement from rugby I went back to college part time to study Sports Massage Therapy and Injury Management," explained Greensmith.
"That was keeping me busy but once I finished the course I decided I wanted to get back involved with rugby in some way. The Munster Association Of Referees (MAR) were launching a recruitment campaign at the time so I decided to give it a go."
"I completed the MAR refereeing course last January and have been refereeing ever since - generally schools friendlies during the week and club games at the weekend."
"I have undergone continuous assessments all the way through my refereeing development and the MAR have been very supportive throughout my learning pathway. Although you have a good understanding of the laws of the game from a player point of view there is a lot more to learn in terms of techniques that will allow you to get yourself into good positions to make the right decision."
Greensmith is one of two females selected to referee the Munster Schools Junior Cup fixtures: her former Munster and Ireland colleague Joy Neville will take charge of the Ardscoil Rís/St Munchin's Senior Cup match, in her second year officiating the competition.
"Joy set the benchmark for women refereeing in the Munster Schools competition and did a great job last season. She has since gone on to referee the men's All-Ireland League."
Greensmith said more and more women are getting involved in refereeing, especially past players who want to stay in the sport and maintain their fitness.
"If you have played the game and have a good knowledge of rugby it's a great way to remain involved.," she explained. "There is a lot of support out there. The MAR give you every opportunity to push on with your development and provide ongoing workshops to keep you updated.
"I haven't decided yet where I would like my refereeing career to go from here. For now I'm just taking it one season at a time. I just want to enjoy refereeing, consistently put in a good performance and see where it takes me."
For information on becoming a referee visit www.mar.ie