Tom Read – Referee Profile

Article reproduced from:

“Since I joined my local referee’s society I’ve had the chance to talk to so many referees and to learn from their experiences.”

What was it that got you into refereeing?

I liked the idea of it and so I approached my teachers at school. I thought it would be fun to be in control of the game and I quite like the respect that players give referees. My teachers were really open and supportive and once I’d completed the Refereeing Children (Level 1) course, they were more confident about me refereeing games for Years 7, 8 and 9.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a referee?

When you are refereeing a game you realise how fundamental to it you are. It can’t really take place without you. You get a real sense of responsibility that comes with being in control and being aware of the impact of your decisions. As I still play, I think it also gives me a better perspective on playing and I’d like to think that that helps to make me a better player.

Show us your favourite refereeing photo

This was a game between Edenbridge 1 v East Grinstead III, which Edenbridge comfortably won 52 – 22.  I like this photo as it shows me in action and the importance of keeping up with play and being able to respond to important events. With 74 points scored on the day there was a lot of keeping up!

Tell us about your local refereeing society

My local society is the Kent Society of RFU Referees. Since I joined it I’ve had the chance to talk to so many different referees and to learn from their experiences.

As I’m a young referee, the society has given me a structure and pathway to follow. I was involved in the Kent Cup Youth Games in 2016 and I’m now in a development squad that assesses me for senior level games.

The society is really important as it gives me the opportunities and support that aren’t available at my school.

What’s refereeing done for you personally?

The decision to become a referee has created a lot of openings for me. These really started to come together as soon as I’d joined my local society.  Through the society I meet England Referee, Matt Carley, which I found really motivating.

I think that being a referee helps to make me more confident as a person, it teaches you about leadership and the need to be decisive. These are all skills that I’m going to need as I get older and start to have job interviews.

Tom Read

Profession: Student

Age: 17

Society: Kent Society

Playing Position: Tight-head Prop / Flanker

Courses: Refereeing Children, Refereeing the 15-a-side Game, Rugby Ready