#04 Emily Willett - Ruck

#04 Emily Willett

#inspire – celebrating female referee’s in rugby

Emily Willett has been refereeing for 3 years in a bid to stay involved in rugby after incurring a shoulder injury.

She has been playing rugby since she was 15 and has found lifelong friends within the rugby community.

In collaboration with our partners at ACME Whistles, we met up with Emily to chat about her route into refereeing, why female participation in rugby is so important and what motivates her.

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

I started playing rugby when I was 15 after going to watch a Leicester Tigers match and continued to play at University. Rugby has helped me to gain confidence but has also allowed me to make lifelong friends who have supported me throughout my journey.

Please tell us about your first experience as a Match Official

My first experience as a Match Official was running touch and refereeing at a minis inter-school tag tournament as part of our Young Rugby Ambassadors programme.

Please tell us about your most memorable officiating moment to date

My most memorable officiating moment was when I refereed my local women’s team who were celebrating 20 years of women’s rugby at the club which is the same club where I first started playing rugby.

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

I injured my shoulder whilst playing rugby at University and I wanted to find a way to stay actively involved in rugby. I remembered refereeing a couple of minis tournaments and enjoying doing that so I decided to do the ERRA course and join my first referee society in Manchester.

What motivates you to referee?

Being able to support people to play the sport they enjoy and being able to play a small part in making that happen.

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

It’s great. I think the more female match officials we can encourage will further help to expand rugby as a sport and inspire more female participation in the game. 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/