#25 Katrina Ham - Ruck

#25 Katrina Ham

#Inspire – celebrating female referee’s in rugby

Katrina Ham has been a referee for 5 years. 

She started playing rugby as a way to make friends and learn more French when she moved to France. She was welcomed with open arms and hasn’t looked back since.

In collaboration with our partners at ACME Whistles, we met up with Katrina to chat about her route into rugby refereeing, what motivates her and how officiating has helped her overcome several barriers.

Can you tell us a little about your relationship with rugby?

I started playing in my late twenties as a way to make new friends in France.

After a few years playing a developmental form of 7s I started to referee to improve my French and learn the rules better.

What was your first experience as a Match Official like?

It was very intimidating as I had never played 15s. I only had very basic French and had no real sense of the rules, but had a lot of support on the sideline by the FFR.

Tell us about your most memorable officiating moment to date.

For me it was passing the written exam and practical observations to become an Arbitre Territorial (fully qualified) in France.

Who inspired you to take up the whistle?

It was a teammate I was playing with. She enrolled me in the training program and linked me with another English speaker who helped me navigate the language barrier.

What motivates you to referee?

It is a fun way to keep active. I like the challenge and being put on the spot. I also like being part of the sport.

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

For me it means that I reflect the RFU values and give other women the confidence to take the next step to becoming a referee – from just researching the possibilities to signing up to a course or walking out on a pitch.

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/