friend’s question hung in the air, and I did not answer it, at first.
it finally sunk in, there were a thousand questions on my mind- well at least a
few dozen. Time, fitness, it had been
over 15 years since I had been on a Rugby pitch. Where would I train, how would
I re-learn the laws. I need not have worried as from the off, I received
nothing but support from the Association of Referees Connacht Branch (ARCB).
four months later, having completed training I found myself running a line at
Creggs RFC, and for many, if not most, weekends since, I was no longer on a
Golf course or tinkering in the garden or watching others kick a ball around on
TV. I was now back on a pitch.
took a little persuasion, and a realisation that I could not contribute beyond
a certain level, that the body could not run or sprint as it used to. However,
the level you referee at is not the thing. It is not required that you have
played at a high level, it is sufficient that you follow the laws and preserve
neutrality, fair play, and the spirit of the game.
said, if you apply yourself, there is no limit, to where you can go, and some
of you reading this may want to rise through the ranks and aspire to the top,
and if so, you will find support and encouragement aplenty. So, what do you get
in return? In short, lots. Some do it to keep fit, make new friends, enjoy the
craic, and the slagging and the odd laugh. For others, it is the chance to
deepen their knowledge of the game, to pit their wits against the elements,
come rain or shine.
me, it is somewhat different. It is the chance to do all of the above but rather,
to give something back to the game. For those of a certain age- Jean-Pierre
Rives, the blond French flanker said “The
whole point of rugby is that it is, first and foremost, a state of mind, a
means giving back to a game that has given me so much as a fan, player and now
as a referee. So why not you?
you have played the game or worked as a volunteer in a club or school, I would
encourage you to reach out now to Peter Fitzgibbon on 086 832 2987 or firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a new training
course at the end of October, close to you.
why not you and why not now?
O Boyle, PRO ARCB