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Treorchy RFC Presentation Whistle for Referee Nigel Owens

International rugby union referee Nigel Owens was presented with an engraved silver whistle by the Treorchy RFC Mini & Junior section at the Mini's presentations on Sunday 8th May 2011. Owens had been selected as the Welsh RFU referee for the Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand. He officiated at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France and is also a Heineken Cup referee. On receiving his whistle, he told the group that the Acme Thunderer was his whistle of choice and promised to use it during the forthcoming World Cup in September and October.

International rugby referee Nigel Owens accepts a presentation silver whistle from Treorchy RFC Mini & Junior
International rugby referee Nigel Owens accepts a presentation silver whistle from Treorchy RFC Mini & Junior. The Acme Thunderer silver whistle was supplied and engraved by Uppermost.

Acme Thunderer Whistle with Silver Plated Finish
Acme Thunderer Whistle with Silver Plated Finish

About Treorchy RFC
Treorchy RFC was founded in 1886 and has a long and proud history as the most successful rugby club in the Rhondda. Known as 'the Zebras', the club's first team currently plays in Division 1 East of the SWALEC leagues. The club also has a women's rugby team, a Youth team, and a thriving Mini and Junior rugby section. The Mini and Junior set-up currently has over 160 young players involved in age groups from U-7 up to U-16.

About Nigel Owens
Nigel Owens (born 18 June in Mynyddcerrig, Llanelli, Wales) is a Welsh international rugby union referee. He is an international and Heineken Cup referee and was the only Welsh referee at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.

A former school technician at Ysgol Gyfun Maes Yr Yrfa Cefneithin and youth worker with Menter Cwm Gwendraeth, Owens was appointed as an international referee in 2005, and that year officiated his first international between Ireland and Japan in Osaka. Along with Wayne Barnes of England and Marius Jonker of South Africa, Owens made his World Cup debut in Lyon, France on 11 September 2007 for the Argentina vs. Georgia match. He is only one of two referees ever to be appointed to referee two consecutive Heineken Cup finals: Munster v Toulouse at the Millennium Stadium in 2008 and Leicester Tigers v Leinster at Murrayfield in 2009.

In May 2007, he publicly came out as homosexual in an interview with Wales on Sunday. Although reactions have been generally positive, he says it was a difficult decision to make and that he had even contemplated suicide.

Shortly after the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Owens was named 'Gay Sports Personality of the Year' by gay rights group Stonewall's gay awards ceremony in London.

He is also now a patron of the LGBT Centre of Excellence Wales and of the Wooden Spoon Society rugby charity.

He is also known as one of the presenters on Jonathan, a rugby-themed chat show hosted by former Welsh international Jonathan Davies, broadcast on S4C on the eve of big international matches. He also co-presents the sports-themed chat show Bwrw'r Bar. In November 2008 he released his autobiography in Welsh called "Hanner Amser" which means Half Time. The English version was launched at the end of October 2009.

(from Wikipedia, accessed 11th May 2011)