It’s been a frustratingly chilly couple of weeks in Scotland, with many games postponed or cancelled, but there have been two stories that I have come across whilst nibbling on my mince pies that have caused my spirits to warm recently.
The first is the continued progress of young Scottish referee Hollie Davidson who has just been named as the referee for France vs. Italy in the Six Nations next spring. Normally this is where I would say that such an appointment caps a momentous rise for Hollie who, in the space of under three years, has gone from local club games to refereeing in the World Sevens Series to becoming Scotland’s first female professional referee to officiating at the World Cup, but “cap” would seem to indicate an end to the journey and we all look on with interest to see where her next steps will take her.
Scottish rugby has made great strides in supporting the women’s game in recent years and trailblazers such as Hollie, Alex Pratt and Alex Haskett have helped encourage many other women to take up the whistle. If you know anyone who might be interested please do not hesitate to get in touch with anyone from the society so we can help you start your journey.
The other incident that caused my heart to grow three sizes was when I opened my inbox to find an email from one of our local clubs showing veteran referee Malcom Stent and ex-British Lion captain Finlay Calder embracing after developmental league match. For me this photo represents the true spirit of rugby, of players of all shapes and sizes getting involved on a Saturday morning not for money or for glory but for the love of the game. We are lucky to at ERRS to have a large number of referees who have given decades of service to rugby in and around Edinburgh, and it has to be remembered that everytime one of these referees laces up their boots it allows thirty others to play a game. A big thank you to all who give up their weekends to help out!
So that concludes my blog for 2017. I hope to be able to keep you up to date with many exciting developments in the 2018 and hope that you continue to enjoy this great game that we all love.
Merry Christmas! … now where did I put the brandy.