Zimbabwe’s leading rugby referee Precious Pazani continues to break new ground after she became the first local to officiate on the Women’s HSBC World Sevens Series.
Pazani, who was fresh from officiating at the Dubai Sevens International series last week, went a step higher when she officiated at the HSBC Cape Town Sevens in South Africa at the weekend.
The multi-talented Pazani has been on a steady rise since crossing over from basketball to rugby, where she played for Zimbabwe in women’s rugby sevens before venturing into refereeing in 2014.
This year Pazani became the first Zimbabwean rugby referee to officiate at the World Cup after her participation at the Rugby World Cup Sevens which was held in Cape Town, South Africa in September.
Earlier in the season, the 32-year-old official also broke many barriers after officiating in a number of high-profile competitions such as the Women’s Six Nations Championship, men’s Under-20 Six Nations Championship and the 2022 men’s Rugby Africa Cup which doubled as the qualifiers for next year’s Rugby World Cup.
Pazani was recently named the Referee of the Year during the Zimbabwe Rugby Referees Society’s end-of-season awards ceremony held at Old Hararians Sports Club in recognition of her achievements on the international circuit this year.
She will be aiming to become a regular on the whirlwind HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series which is one of the most popular rugby events in world rugby.
The stopover in Cape Town was the third in the 2022/23 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, with the opening tournaments taking place in Hong Kong (November 4-6) and Dubai (December 2-3).
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series includes 16 men’s and 12 women’s teams, playing in pools, with the top teams progressing to the Cup quarter-finals and the bottom teams playing out for lower positions in the next round. Every match is crucial, as World Series points are up for grabs.