What was it that got you into refereeing?
While playing at school I suffered an injury where I tore my ACL. I recovered from this and went back to playing, but unfortunately it happened again. This is when I thought it was time to give up. I took a year or two out of the game focussing on university. Then in my final year I was missing being part of the rugby family.
I had always been interested in refereeing and something that I always wanted to try. I did some searching and took it upon myself to book a course and here I am now helping run the YMO programme within NLD and now on the National Youth Council.
What’s the most rewarding thing about being a referee?
There are probably too many things to mention. I could not speak more highly about what refereeing has done for me. It has enable me to develop multiple skills that I felt could be improved – communication, leadership, decision making and organisation. Furthermore, I have the ability to facilitate enjoyment of this amazing sport.
It is great to referee a match that is playing in line with the core values of the game and to see people really enjoying themselves. Moreover, it is so rewarding to be able to go out onto a pitch and develop your skills while getting fitter and healthier.
Tell us about your local refereeing society
NLDRFURS (The Nottingham, Lincolnshire & Derbyshire RFU Referees Society) have provided me with so much. Especially the chairman, Paul Carroll, and my referee coach John Bradwell. I first met Paul when I was on my referee course and he encouraged me to join the society once I had completed it. He supported me in getting involved with the society and allowed me to develop further by assigning me a coach in John Bradwell. Also, Paul introduced me to Nicole so I could get involved in the YMO programme in NLD. John Bradwell has been key in my development as a referee he called me once or twice a week to talk through my game and what went well and what could be improved. He gave me different techniques to try and really developed my game.
I couldn’t recommend NLDRFURS more highly to YMOs to go and develop there.
What’s refereeing done for you personally?
Refereeing has been the best thing I have done in the past 5 years. It has enabled me to develop skills, be part of the ever growing YMO programme within NLD and get a position on the National Youth Council.
It has enabled me to develop my skills at a very important time in my life, in my final year of university when I had to start applying for graduate jobs. It allowed me to become more employable as the skills that I developed were so key to the types of roles that I was seeking. Refereeing is something that I enjoy doing and I see it as my way of relaxing at the weekends and has become a huge part of my life.