Referee retires due to heart condition

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Perenara began as a player in the NRL, with almost 100 games under his belt before he turned to the whistle. 200 games as a referee followed, but it was 20 years before Perenara was officially diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia – a heart condition that results in an abnormally fast heart rate.

Medical experts consider 180 beats per minute high but with Perenara’s condition, his could race up to 230.

“First thing dad said when I told him about being diagnosed, he said, ‘why are you still doing this?’,” Perenara told 1 NEWS.

It didn’t take long for him to run out of answers.

“I actually went off my meds because it was starting to affect the way I was refereeing, the way I was starting to feel,” he said.

“And then I had an episode at training where I blacked out … pretty much collapsed at the end of the session.

“That’s when I made the decision to pull the pin.”

Though it’s forced him to retire, Perenara’s condition isn’t life threatening and he has a degree to fall back on for life after the NRL.

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