#46 Emily Hope - Ruck

#46 Emily Hope

#inspire – celebrating female referees in rugby

Emily Hope has been officiating for 4 years.

Her dad, Barry has supported her refereeing journey from the beginning and is also a referee.

In collaboration with our partners at ACME Whistles, we met up with Emily to chat about her route from playing to 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 like to think I am an outgoing person that has a very good relationship with rugby. Rugby has become my lifestyle as there is not a day where I am not involved in something rugby-related. I haven’t always been the most confident person, but rugby has allowed me to come out of my shell and create aspirations and goals for myself.

What was your first experience as a Match Official like?

My first match official experience was my local clubs under 11’s match. I did this match 2 days after I completed the course which was a huge challenge for me as I had struggled to complete due to thinking I wouldn’t be a good referee.

When I had completed the match with my whole family on the touchline (who acted as if it was a world cup final) I knew that I wanted to referee every weekend as I enjoyed it and felt extremely proud of my performance.

Tell us about your most memorable officiating moment to date.

My most memorable moment officiating would be Assistant Refereeing in the women’s prem cup at Sandy Park as the stadium was full of fans.

I was working with 2 other officials that I look up to as role models and my dad, who is also my number 1 supporter, was watching in the crowd.

Seeing my dad at the end of the match was my proudest moment as it was what I had been working towards for a long time and he had supported me through the whole journey!

Who inspired you to take up the whistle?

I was inspired to take up the whistle by my Grandpa and dad as they were/are both referee’s. I am the 3rd generation referee in my family. I have been around rugby from a young age so I wanted to try a different aspect of the game and fell in love with it!

What motivates you to referee?

Young people in rugby motivates me to referee. I want to be a role model for young people to take up the whistle.

When I have had a tough match or am struggling with my self-confidence and belief, I take my motivation from the young people in the game that need a referee for their match or haven’t seen a young referee during their playing time.

I have goals that I have set for myself that I use as drive to keep going.

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 want to INSPIRE young women and girls into refereeing as the game of rugby is changing and diversity is increasing. If I could be a role model and inspire only one woman or girl to referee than I would be extremely proud of rugby and all the females in it.

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/