A primary school teacher has been given an award for her refereeing achievements.
Rashpal Shergill, from Gravesend, won the trophy at a national ceremony held at Wembley stadium.
The mum-of-two was nominated for the Refereeing in the Community award last month but was shocked when the Football Association chose her as the winner.
Rashpal said: “I really couldn’t believe it. I was overwhelmed with emotion and feeling - I really was just taking in that moment. I just walked up really slowly just so I could take all that in.”
The ceremony was the first National Referee Recognition Awards, and Rashpal was the only South-Asian female to take home a trophy.
“That just felt so powerful for me. It was a real honour and privilege to represent the community at the awards.”
“I really hope to inspire anyone, especially females and other under-represented groups to get into refereeing and become new role models for youth,” said Rashpal.
Her win follows her most recent historical achievement as the first South Asian female to referee an FA county cup final football game, which KentOnline reported last month.
“I’m so excited, I’ve literally bought ten copies of the Gravesend Messenger to share with my family and friends.
“All the positive comments that I’ve had on social media is like a massive celebration in itself,” she said.
Rashpal will also be sharing her refereeing story during a special assembly in her honour at her primary school, King’s Farm Primary in Cedar Avenue, Gravesend
“As a female referee to win a national award right now - I’m just so excited,” she said.
Rashpal added that her victory means a lot to her with the approaching FIFA Women's World Cup next month.
“I don’t think the women’s world cup has been promoted as widely as the men’s one is and I feel that’s a bit of a shame really.
“I just wanted to wish the lionesses a massive good luck for their world cup journey”
The world-wide football competition kicks off on July 20 with Maidstone’s Alessio Russio on the England team.