#8 Lucy Smith - Ruck

#8 Lucy Smith

#inspire – celebrating female referee’s in rugby

Lucy Smith has been a rugby referee for the last six years and is based in Somerset.

Her local Referee Adviser Development Officer, Bruce Marshall, has been a real source of inspiration for Lucy, ensuring she works towards her goals and creating an inclusive environment.

In collaboration with our partners at ACME Whistles, we met up with Lucy to chat about her refereeing career, what motivates her and her passion to support more female match officials to learn and grow within the sport.

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

Rugby has given me a lot to be thankful for. I suffered a highly traumatic event as a youngster and rugby allowed me to have a purpose and an outlook. I will always be grateful to Dave Turner at Exeter Saracens for ensuring that was an opportunity for young girls from  every walk of life to come to a safe environment to just be me. If it was not for rugby I do not know were my life path could have taken me.

Please tell us about your first experience as a Match Official

I picked up a game at Exeter Medics vs Plymouth medics. I was completely unaware of what I was walking into. I knew there was a man coming to see me. I was taken out by a player for standing completely in the wrong place. I thought I had a complete mare but the Devon assessor had some faith in me and I was allocated a coach and my confidence has grown and loved the experiences that come along my way.

Please tell us about your most memorable officiating moment to date

Refereeing at Bath Rec following the mens game with the flame throwers flying with a crowd. I just enjoyed the moment and ensured I worked to the best of my ability. Second moment has to be Assistant refereeing in England under 18s vs Canada under 18 girls.

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

My frustrations with coaching staff I was working with at the time. This lead to me accepting I could not play through injury, coaching I could not deal with them moaning about referees so I thought I would give it a go.

What motivates you to referee?

The opportunities that can come my way and hard work does get noticed. The referee coaching team give constructive advice to improve your performance and give honest comments on what is achievable or not.

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 a truly special feeling to be told that you’re an inspiration to a new referee that has recently joined the society. I just wanted her to be her best self and I feel privileged to be part of that.

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/