#01 Yueli Ang - Ruck

#01 Yueli Ang

#inspire – celebrating female referee’s in rugby

Yueli Ang started on her journey into refereeing earlier this year after making the decision to retire from playing at the end of the season.

She has been fully embraced by the rugby community that she now calls “family” and views refereeing as a way to stay central to the sport that she loves so passionately.

In collaboration with our partners at ACME Whistles, we met up with Yueli to chat about her motivation, her transition from player to referee and why rugby in the UK is so empowering.

Please tell us about you as a person and your relationship with rugby

I started playing rugby in University and fell in love with the sport. Everyone that I’ve met through rugby is welcoming and supportive. Rugby is not just a sport, it is a family. University rugby was super fun – from the socials to eventually winning BUCS Finals in Twickenham!

Since then, I have gone on to represent Singapore in rugby 7s and 15s and have made rugby family wherever I have lived and travelled to play.

I’ve now moved back to the UK and there are so many opportunities to be involved in rugby which is incredible. I currently play for Chelmsford Ladies and this year had the privilege of representing Essex County as well! I picked up refereeing this year because I plan to retire after one more season and refereeing provides the perfect opportunity for me to keep involved in the sport I love.

Please tell us about your first experience as a Match Official

It was a day after this year’s Storm Eunice and was at Basildon. It was a merit game and the teams were super friendly and welcoming. All in all, it was a mess (muddy, still rainy and windy) but the lads enjoyed themselves.

Please tell us about your most memorable officiating moment to date

It was my very first Colts game. I had heard about how Colts games can get quite rowdy and so I was quite nervous. But I stayed calm and kept up with the game. It was a great game – no troubles from anyone whatsoever and the boys and coaches came up to me after to tell me I was the best ref they’d had that season.

Who inspired you to take up the whistle? How did you get started?

My teammate Desiree. She took me to the Northampton Saints RFU last year and I got to meet Clare Daniels and so many ladies who are referees! It made me really keen to try refereeing.

What motivates you to referee?

The Opportunity to give two teams the game they want to play. There is a lack of refs in the Essex region so I want to play my part to help with that.

In a few words please tell us what it means to you to be a positive role model and INSPIRE other women and girls to get in to refereeing

I would mean a lot to me if I could inspire anyone to pick up the whistle, regardless of their gender. I am excited to be part of the movement to help make women referees a norm. Positivity, strength, confidence! If you’re feeling inspired to take up the whistle, find out more about becoming a Match Official here: keepyourbootson.co.uk/referee-toolkit/supporting-match-officials-female/