11 November 2017 – Rugby fans who came to the COBRA 10s Ladies last week will certainly notice a rare sight of a girl as the referee for rugby matches. Abbygale Rayone Michael Lojinggu is a qualified woman referee in Malaysia.
This 21 years old came all the way from Panampang, Sabah. She herself is still actively playing for Sabah Angel Warrior Rugby Club. She started playing when she was 16 years old as she was in form 4 of Sekolah Menengah St. Joseph, Penampang under the guidance of coach Josephine Joseph.
This young girl is an outstanding player in her playing career. She played for Malaysia when she was 19 years old during the 2015 Singapore SEA Games. She also played for Malaysia during the South East Asia 7s as well as for Malaysia Under 20 at Johor last year.
Abby takes the decision to take the referee course as she wants to understand the game better as a player. She wants to know and understand the rule better. She took the level 1 referee course at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah conducted by Dr. Nizam Nazarudin and Sir Madi Kawi of Singapore.
She had her first experience as a referee back in 2016. She blew in two tournaments, UPM Rugby Rumble Festival 2016 and UPSI 10s.
Other than level 1 referee, Abbygale also obtained Coaching level 1.
This Kadazan Rungus young girl has a high hope of working his way back into the Malaysia team setup. She is excited to see more women get involved in the rugby as well as proud of the women team achievement during the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games where they won Bronze.
Abbygale is also hoping to see more women referee get recognition in the near future. We expect to see more from her. Abbygale excel in both sports and academy as she pursues her study at the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam.
Very best of luck to Abby and we are as excited to see her as a referee on our Malaysia Rugby scene.
Photos from Abbygale personal collection