#28 Holly Feller - Ruck

#28 Holly Feller

#Inspire – celebrating female referee’s in rugby

This is Holly Feller’s first active season since completing her ERRA qualification.

She played rugby for 12 years before a nasty injury led to her picking up the whistle as a way to stay involved in a sport she loves.

In collaboration with our partners at ACME Whistles, we met up with Holly to chat about her route from player to ref, what motivates her and why female referees are so important.

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

I started playing 12 years ago and instantly fell in love with the game. I now get involved behind the scenes, including managing my son’s team.

I suffered a nasty injury 3 years ago and I was unsure if I want to play again so was heavily encouraged to pick up the whistle by a referee I know.

I’m so glad I did as it’s refreshed a love of the game I was about to lose. I’m very much a “get out what you put in” person so this has given me something to channel that into and helps keep my passion for rugby as well as growing the women’s game.

What was your first experience as a Match Official like?

I refereed a beach rugby festival, and it was an eye opener and a real learning opportunity. I loved it and was proud of myself for combatting my nerves and self-doubts. Plus, I had Matt Banahan pitching in as an AR – what an experience.

Tell us about your most memorable officiating moment to date.

Having Matt Banahan being my AR for a game is absolutely up there but, during that festival, to be told by a player that I made the weekend enjoyable will definitely stick with me.

Who inspired you to take up the whistle?

Sara Cox is definitely an inspiration and having known her for 11 years it’s been great to watch her thrive. But it has to be the local referee who suggested I become a referee. He helped get the ball rolling and the society to pay for my course. I couldn’t have done it without him.

What motivates you to referee?

Staying in the game. Being a woman and showing everyone that women and girls can do it, too. Knowing that women and girls will love to see more females referee their games. Being a positive part of progression.

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

To show women and girls that they have someone other than “Sir” to referee their games and that there is a role for any woman and girl, not just player, coach or manager and that you can still be a part of it when you stop playing.

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/