Girls Rugby Club are excited to introduce our newest member of the Advisory Board, Emily Hope! At just 18 years old, Emily has already achieved so much including being a match official at Twickenham for a county final as well as winning Girls Rugby Club Female Match Official of the Year in 2021! We sat down with Emily to discuss some of her previous experiences as well as future ambitions with Girls Rugby Club: How did it feel to win our first ever female match official of the year award in 2021? “I was really surprised actually because I saw who I was up against, and there are some great referees, and I did not think I would get it at all, so it was really surreal when I saw that I was the winner- it was a great feeling!’ What do you hope to achieve while being part of the advisory board? ‘I think to bring a different aspect to rugby. Obviously, I have got the reffing background now so hopefully I can bring that onto the board and bring some fresh ideas and just see things from a different perspective other than coaching or playing’ What has been your proudest achievement in Rugby to date? ‘A couple of weeks ago I reffed as an AR in the county final and I got a presentation at Twickenham, walked up the stairs to the royal box, and I shook someone’s hand, it was really crazy!’ What have you found to be your biggest challenge being a match official? ‘Self-confidence! I know I can do it and I go out and do it most weekends but when you’ve got a big match ahead of you, you sometimes think ‘oh god this is a bit scary’, but just trying to push through that and believe in yourself’ What advice would you give to any girls who are interested in becoming a match official? ‘Go for it. You never know if you never try. If you don’t like it, that’s fine but you might be like me and fall in love and never want to stop doing it, so just give it a go!’ We’re really excited to welcome Emily to the Girls Rugby Club Advisory Board and can’t wait to hear her new ideas for the club!