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After a breakthrough performance at last month’s Queensland Primary Schools Rugby League carnival, promising Richlands-based referee Jayden Beavis is ready to make his mark at his first national event.

Jayden will leave for Canberra on Saturday where he will officiate at the National Under 12 Exchange.

With the country’s best primary school footballers in action, Jayden is looking forward to the extra responsibility that comes with such a prestigious carnival.

While he is still navigating his way through the early years of his refereeing ‘apprenticeship’, the 17-year-old Forest Lake SHS student has already developed a liking for the big stage.

He was selected to referee at a State 11 Years carnival in just his second season in the ranks, and in June this year he was one of the most consistent match officials at the QPSRL 12 Years carnival at Runaway Bay.

He capped off a memorable experience by refereeing the final between Met North and the Sunshine Coast.

“It was really good. I learnt a lot,” Jayden said.

“The quality of footy was a lot better than a normal club game.”

The intensity at the nationals will go up another notch in Canberra this weekend, but with the state championships under his belt, Jayden feels he is well placed to tackle his next challenge.

Assisting his development at the nationals will be experienced coaches Steve Clark and Glen Richardson.

A former rugby league player with the Forest Lake Magpies, Jayden is grateful of the opportunities the game provides.

With strong support and encouragement from mentors Paul Oliver, Scott Harvey and Marc Sauvage, Jayden has put the disappointment of a knee injury from his playing days behind him and is now throwing everything into his refereeing.

“I really enjoy it and I would love to make a career out of it,” Jayden said.