USA Rugby referee Derek Summers is currently in South Africa attending the IRB Talent Optimization Programme held at Stellenbosch University at the Maties Rugby Referees Academy.
The program is aimed at coaches and match officials with significant experience and qualifications who are looking to optimize their talent in a high performance environment and runs for one week from Sunday, July 20, through Saturday, July 26. Upon completion, Summers will fly to Pretoria where he will be refereeing South African U19 Provincial rugby matches Aug. 2 and 9. He will then return to Maties Academy and complete its season through September.
Summers began his refereeing career in 2008 in Oklahoma, when he went to watch his old college team play, and was asked to referee the match. He quickly worked his way up the ladder and moved to Denver in 2011 to focus more on refereeing and to continue his pursuit of becoming a top-level referee that saw him make the USA Rugby Referees National Panel in 2012. The current calendar year has proved to be his most successful, as he has refereed at the Junior World Rugby Trophy in Hong Kong, refereed his first test match in Mexico, and featured in top matches in the D1A, Pacific Rugby Premiership, and men’s Club playoffs. Summers is also on the USA Rugby Referees Sevens Panel.
If you are interested in supporting Summers during his development program in South Africa, please visit his page here. Your support allows him to continue working towards his dreams of representing the U.S.A. on the international stage.