#38 Rebecca Rees - Ruck

#38 Rebecca Rees

#inspire – celebrating female referees in rugby

Rebecca has been officiating for 7 years.

With a Welsh dad, Rebecca found rugby hard to ignore and she feels that rugby has taught her a lot of valuable life skills.

In collaboration with our partners at ACME Whistles, we met up with Rebecca to chat about her route into rugby, what motivates her and why more women should consider becoming referees.

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

Rugby has always been in the background growing up (a Welsh father made it difficult to ignore!)  However, it was when I joined my university team that I got really hooked.  Little did I realise then, the experiences and opportunities the rugby world would present.

The camaraderie within rugby is unrivalled compared to other team sports along with the fact that to succeed, the team must use an array of different skillsets from a wide range of individuals.

This has shaped my perception across all areas of my life – everyone has their strengths and there is a place for everyone within the team.

What was your first experience as a Match Official like?

Daunting but rewarding! Nervous (I kept declining appointments) but after a stern self-talk I finally ran out for Morpeth Women v Scarborough Ladies. 

The support provided by my society made it a safe environment. I thoroughly enjoyed ‘the best seat in the house’ so had no hesitation in accepting the next appointment!

Tell us about your most memorable officiating moment to date.

Tricky! There have been many memorable moments from matches that have marked certain milestones, or those which have resulted in fun rugby moments. 

However, I would have to choose being an AR for the Commonwealth Games – an unbelievable experience meeting, catching up, and learning from officials from all around the world. 

Who inspired you to take up the whistle?

When exploring alternative roles within rugby to develop my game knowledge and understanding, it was my very good friend and teammate Kirsty Fisher who gave me that final nudge of encouragement and reassurance to go for it.

So, I signed up to the next local referee course and here I am!

What motivates you to referee?

I love the challenge refereeing brings – not only the opportunity to learn more about the game, but also how it continually develops my interpersonal skills that can be transferred outside of rugby. 

Additionally, seeing new FMOs rising through motivates me to keep going and support their refereeing development.

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

I am very proud and humbled to be included in such an inspirational group of women.  I am very excited to see how far the FMOs progress through the levels and witness their impact across all aspects of officiating both on and off field.

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/