What was it that got you into refereeing?
After breaking my shoulder for the second time I thought it was time to move on from the playing the game, but I wanted to stay involved. So I completed a referee course with my brother in Truro. However it took another couple of breaks to finally hang up the boots and commit to refereeing properly.
What’s the most rewarding thing about refereeing?
Being the facilitator to a game of rugby rather than just a player provides a completely different perspective and one that is personally very rewarding. My communication and management skills have gone through the roof and I am a much more confident individual as a result. Furthermore my fitness has never been better – being so fit even encouraged me to run the London Marathon this year for the Brain and Spine Foundation, something I never thought I would do.
Tell us about your favourite photo?
In April 2017 I was given the honour of refereeing the U14 Dyson 7s South West final at the Rec. This was during half-time of the Bath vs Gloucester premiership game in front of 14,000 spectators. The buzz and excitement I felt is one that will stay with me forever!
Tell us about your local referee society or association/club.
Being a member of the University of York means that I spend half my time ‘op’north’ and the other half back down south in Somerset. This means that I am a dual member of both Somerset and North Yorkshire societies. Both societies have helped me enormously with my development and have offered me opportunities I could have only dreamed about.
How do you manage university life with refereeing?
University offers a wide range of activities, societies and sports to get involved in and I recommend throwing yourself into them. Many take place during the week and especially Wednesday. Then at the weekend dust off the boots and get in the middle of a local game! Refereeing is the same as everything: if you want to do it you can find the time. I have not had a problem and I’m sure you won’t as well!
At my university we are in the process of setting up a match officials society, so why not approach your union and MODO with this idea? Refereeing has done wonders for my life, so I’d encourage anyone else to take advantage of the benefits and keep their boots on!