Inspire – Celebrating Female Referee’s in Rugby
Michelle Angus has been officiating for the last 6 months.
Rugby is a passion she shares with her son, Ian, who is 11 years old and was recently selected as team captain due to his leadership skills. They are both Sale Sharks fans.
Michelle is a former rugby physio who has seen a lot of players take knocks that mean they can no longer play. She sees refereeing as a great opportunity to stay part of the game and wholeheartedly agrees with the motto of ‘No ref. No Game’.
In collaboration with our partners at ACME Whistles, we met up with Michelle to chat about her rugby career so far, why encouraging more people to become referees is so important and how she stays motivated.
Can you tell us a little about your relationship with rugby?
I played rugby from the age of 18 until my mid-twenties, dusting off the boots now and then since then for old girls’ games.
I then worked in rugby for a while as a physiotherapist in both voluntary and paid roles, alongside my job in the NHS.
My son started playing aged 6 and I have managed his team as a volunteer for the last 6 years. I started refereeing to help his team and the development of our youngsters – #norefnogame.
What was your first experience as a Match Official like?
I referee minis rugby and as a female the coaches never seem sure what to call me which always makes me laugh. They are always polite but clearly are used to saying “sir”.
Tell us about your most memorable officiating moment to date.
I love it when the kids come and shake my hand at the end – they are so lovely and appreciative.
Who inspired you to take up the whistle?
I decided to start referring to help the minis section at the club. When the coaches are pulled into refereeing, I feel it’s difficult for them to do both. I started to referee to free up the coaches to actually coach the game.
What motivates you to referee?
Keeping the kids playing rugby.
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
As a club, this is our first season with a dedicated girls section at U12. I’ve managed many of these girls since they were 6, so they love it when I come back to referee their games.
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/