#29 Abbie Griffiths - Ruck

#29 Abbie Griffiths

#Inspire – celebrating female referee’s in rugby

Abbie has been officiating for 2 years.

Her dad, Ian, introduced her to the game and despite playing since she was 8 years old, officiating is where her real passion lies.

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

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

I started off playing rugby at 8 years old and have loved it ever since. I first got into refereeing when helping to train my brother’s age group who were all 5 years younger than me.

I took the referee course as I loved being a match official and wanted to expand my knowledge and professionalism. I believe I have now come a long way with my confidence and refereeing abilities. Next season I plan to referee for my school as well as my club.

What was your first experience as a Match Official like?

I started by refereeing U9’s. It was chaotic but a lot of fun. Therefore, I could not wait for the next week to do it all again. Since this first experience I have learnt how to manage the game a lot more. Nevertheless, we still have a lot of fun.

Tell us about your most memorable officiating moment to date.

Every match is memorable to me, as each brings on new challenges and experience and I get to improve the players knowledge of the game.

Who inspired you to take up the whistle?

I watched a Saracens man’s match which had a female referee, and this got me thinking, ‘I could do that’. At the same match I overheard two old men complaining about the refereeing and I knew she was right, not them.

What motivates you to referee?

My enjoyment of the game and love of passing on my knowledge to help people.

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

#INSPIRE for me is getting others involved in the game that has afforded me so much fun and experiences.

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/