#inspire – celebrating female referees in rugby
Becky Piddlesden, also known as ‘Pids’ has been a rugby union referee for 3 seasons.
Rugby has influenced the person she is today and she loves the community aspect of it – making new friends, learning new skills and challenging yourself to constantly improve.
In collaboration with our partners at ACME Whistles, we met up with Becky to chat about how rugby has given her confidence, what motivates her and her passion for increasing the number of women within the sport.
Can you tell us a little about your relationship with rugby?
I grew up playing rugby as junior at Weybridge Vandals RFC and consider it to be a huge influence for who I am as person today.
Making friends for life, learning new skills and challenging your character are the key features I truly believe rugby brings to those who welcome it into their lives.
What was your first experience as a Match Official like?
An U15 boys’ rugby game at Brighton College where I was teaching at the time. They all enjoyed themselves, time flew-by and rugby was the real winner!
Tell us about your most memorable officiating moment to date.
Having the opportunity to referee on the hallowed turf of Twickenham in June of this year for the Div 2 Women’s County final was definitely one for the memory books.
Who inspired you to take up the whistle?
I fell into refereeing really whilst teaching, combining it with playing at the time. Since stepping away from playing and with the guidance of a strong support network I’m slowly making improvements with every game.
What motivates you to referee?
Facilitating a game for those who want to play a sport that has been a part of my life for over 20 years and has given me so much makes it a welcome weekly challenge.
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
The growth of Women’s rugby has been immense over the past few years which is great to see. Having visibility across a number of roles within the game will only continue to build the community.
Being able to be a part of that and encourage others to find their place across rugby, whether it’s playing, coaching, refereeing and beyond is what we need to continue the journey.
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/