David Williamson Referee Scholarship

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The Northern California Rugby Football Union Referee Society

Prior to David “Bunny” Williamson’s passing in 2017, Rugby NorCal and the Northern California Rugby Referee Society partnered to create the David Williamson Referee Scholarship to develop emerging referees.  A committee of family, friends, and fellow referee coaches was formed to select the first recipient and set a strategic direction for increasing its impact on referee development in northern California.  Bunny devoted decades to referee development in northern California, and the U.S., and always kept having qualified referees for youth matches as a priority in the countless hours he devoted to the sport.

The inaugural scholarship went to  Andrew Stockton in 2017, and since then five more recipients have received funds for travel to matches and training that will advance their early careers as match officials.  They are: Andrew Arballo, Hevani Kaihau, Will Nelson and Morris Fuller.  

To support the scholarship, please send a contribution to:

Williamson Scholarship

7830 Hihn Road

Ben Lomand, CA 95005


David Williamson Referee Scholarship

The Northern California Rugby Football Union Referee Society

It has been an exciting few months for the game of rugby. Hopefully you were able to watch some of the exhilarating World Cup matches.   Perhaps – with your support – we will see a David Williamson Referee Scholarship recipient referee at a future World Cup! 

As summer makes way to autumn, we have a few updates for our community. 

The David “Bunny” Williamson’s scholarship committee has three new members. I, David Pescetti, have taken over stewardship of the committee, as chair.  I’ve had the immense pleasure of being coached by Bunny many times during my years refereeing.  Two familiar faces have also joined the committee, Andrew Stockton and Will Nelson.  We hope their experience as recipients can provide a new perspective as we continue to develop the next generation of rugby referees in Northern California.

Not only are our scholarship recipients giving back, but they are also excelling on and off the pitch.  Andrew Stockton earned a promotion at work, was selected for the National Development Group (NDG) and has been refereeing in the Women’s Premier League (WPL).  Hevani Kaihau was selected to the National Regional Development Group (NRDG), selected for Eagle Claw (a national group focused on the development of women referees), and traveling for her many national assignments.  Will Nelson recently got engaged, was selected to the High-Performance Group, and has been refereeing in the American Rugby Premiership (ARP).  We want to congratulate and recognize all the achievements our recipients have made.

Last, and certainly not least, we are thrilled to announce to you the recipient of the sixth David “Bunny” Williamson’s scholarship for 2023 – Morris Fuller.  Morris began his rugby career at non-other than the 

Berkeley Rhinos and continued to play and eventually lead, as president, the University of California – Santa Cruz Rugby Club.

“I started playing rugby in high school looking for a way to get out of PE class – little did I know it would become a serious love affair. I met Bunny while playing for the Rhinos, but had no idea he founded the team, or of his work refereeing.  I could tell he was a special person and cared a huge amount about the Rhinos. He would often watch practices on cold, windy Bay area nights, and shouldered all the administrative grunt work needed to get a bunch of rowdy teenagers CIPPed and insured.

Rugby followed me through college where the idea of becoming a referee took root, and when I was spat out into the real world, without a rugby team, I finally signed up to become a referee.

Through the coaching and support of many, particularly the Pelicans, I have done quite a bit of refereeing in the last two years.  I am honored and grateful to receive the David Williamson scholarship, and I cannot wait for the opportunity to travel and learn from those at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport next summer, embarking on what will be the experience of a lifetime.”

Morris is another example of the remarkable impact Bunny made on rugby as a player, youth coach, referee, and referee coach – an impact amplified through the 2023 Scholarship!   Now with your support, we can continue that legacy providing emerging referees with wonderful opportunities to grow their skills and strengthen our great sport.

This Giving Tuesday, we are inviting you to join us in helping emerging referees become the best they can be.  The need is great.  Please choose a gift level that’s right for you on the enclosed card and send back in the stamped envelope.

Please support the Williamson Scholarship today! 

With gratitude,

David Pescetti           Chair, David Williamson Referee Scholarship Committee                                                 

Helen Marcus            David Williamson Referee Scholarship Committee                

P.S.  Your contribution is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.