What was it that got you into refereeing?
After injuring my shoulder three years ago in Sydney I could no longer play, so I immersed myself in work and lost interest in the game. I returned to the UK two years later and decided to get back into refereeing, which I had done at school. My dad has been a referee with Hertfordshire Society of Rugby Football Union Referees (HSRFUR) for around ten years and took me along to a meeting. I haven’t looked back since and got to know and socialise with referees from all levels.
What’s the most rewarding thing about being a referee?
One of the most rewarding things about refereeing is going to different clubs, meeting a wide range of individuals that want to play, coach and support their teams. This is helped by coming off the field at the end of the game and talking with them, so I can gain feedback, learn and get better. This comes through every game being different which creates a great challenge physically and mentally. I also find it rewarding to be able to develop my fitness and that of others, whilst seeing the referees I train improve in their game and move up the levels.
Tell us about your favourite photo.
This photo was taken during an exchange game with Northamptonshire Society in November 2017. The game was a very tough derby game that produced a lot of well-played rugby; it was an enjoyable but challenging game to referee. In the photo, I’m running towards a clearance kick that was deep inside the home team’s 22 that went into touch.
Tell us about your local refereeing society
Hertfordshire Society of Rugby Football Union Referees (HSRFUR) is a big family: we’re always supporting each other through meetings, presentations, phone calls and social media. There is a wide variety of experience within the society from Vets Rugby up to the international stage of World Rugby. With this variety comes great discussions and conversations, enabling the development of each referee to be the best they can be.
The society is committed to getting young referees on board too, and pushing everyone up through the levels to achieve their potential. We are involved in supporting local schools and clubs as well as national and international competitions. Everyone is supported by an enthusiastic team of Match Observers and Referee Coaches.
What’s refereeing done for you personally?
It has given me something to aim for that is outside of work, which has created structure and purpose. I have also travelled to places that I would not have gone to or seen if I hadn’t started refereeing. Meeting so many people that love this great sport has also been amazing, learning from them professionally and getting to know them on a personal level too.