What was it that got you into refereeing?
I started refereeing once my school team folded when I was 14 years old. It was after an older student had refereed one of my matches the previous season and I was inspired to do the same. After attending the Refereeing Children in Rugby Course, I soon took charge of my first game at school and fell in love with refereeing ever since. My teachers were very supportive and felt confident for me to referee all matches U12-U14.
From there I refereed at my club before taking my Refereeing the 15-a-side game course and joining my local referee’s society who supported me through my development and to my first senior game.
What’s the most rewarding thing about being a referee?
As the referee, you are fundamental to the game and it cannot go ahead without you. You also get to visit many different places and rugby clubs, where you are warmly welcomed and meet loads of like-minded people along the way. I am also a coach and being a referee significantly assists me in my coaching. It allows me to coach to the law and give my team that extra edge when it comes to game day.
Refereeing has given me the ability to look back on a situation and review it for the future. This is something that I do for all my games – to try and improve for future matches. I have also grown a refereeing circle of friends with whom I can compare experiences and talk to about rugby but who are also friends for life. It is from these friends and connections that I was lucky enough to Assistant Referee a game at Twickenham stadium, certainly my refereeing highlight to date!
It acted as another string to my bow when I came to apply for the RFU National Youth Council. Not only was it another part of rugby that I was involved in, but the connections that I had made through refereeing helped me to build and create further relationships in new areas of the game.
Show us your favourite refereeing photo
This is a photo from the University of Gloucestershire v Reading University game that I refereed. It is a great action shot not only of the rugby but also of me, something that is often rare when refereeing. It also demonstrates the great support on the sidelines and the spectacle of the day (due to the other rugby teams home games being cancelled).
Tell us about your local refereeing society
I firstly joined Kent Society of RFU Referees in 2016 and was among the first in the Kent Junior Development Squad. This paired YMO’s (Young Match Officials) up with a coach and mentor to help them through their development. We also had a small group of us who were able to work together in teams of three as well as being able to share experiences with each other. This helped me immensely with my development as it gave me an excellent support network.
Now I am a member of the Gloucester and District Referees Society. This is due to going to University at the University of Gloucestershire and joining the officiating scholarship with ex international referee Chris White. The past year has been an eye opener for me with regards to the support I get from the University as well as the other officiating scholars. It has given me the opportunity to make vast strides in my refereeing journey, rising up three levels in one season.
How do you manage university life with refereeing?
I find that refereeing is a great release from my university life. It gives me a good break from my studies and adds structure to my weekends. I can structure my studies around my refereeing appointments which also incites me to complete work in time to be able to go out and referee.
Also, with being on the scholarship program at university, I have access to all facilities for training and S&C that I need throughout the day, often going with other scholars.