St Paul’s Catholic School Latest News

Sophie Qualifies As Rugby Referee

Sophie qualifies as rugby referee

History was made this year when Joy Neville became the first female referee to take charge of a top-level men’s rugby union match in the UK, and Sara Cox became the first woman to referee an English top-tier game.  Now, after becoming a fully qualified rugby referee at the age of just 15, could Year 11 St Paul’s Catholic School pupil Sophie one day emulate their success? 

In order to gain her qualification Sophie attended the Rugby Football Union England (RFU) Rugby Referee Award Course (ERRA).  The course was hosted by St. Paul’s Catholic School and delivered by the schools’ Rugby Development Manager, Dave Manders, together with full time RFU staff and a Buckinghamshire Referees Society Referee Educator. 

Sophie had to attend two full days over a weekend from 9am till 5pm on each day.  The ERRA course included a mixture of classroom delivery, outdoor practical and home study tasks.  The home study tasks involved pre course study (around three hours) and homework on the Saturday night. 

Mr Manders said:  “Sophie worked really well and showed a maturity beyond her years.  Everyone at St Paul’s is very proud of her achievement.” 

Sophie is now looking forward to refereeing both at her rugby club and also here in school where she may well end up refereeing her Year 7 brother! She recently refereed her first 15 a side U15 girls’ fixture between Aylesbury Rugby Football Club and Towcester Rugby Club/Bletchley Rugby Club.

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