12 And In Charge: Archie Redford Is Rugby’s Next Referee
When considering after-school activities, many lean towards the sporting world. This will usually come from a dream of being England's next top goal scorer. However, Archie Redford has taken his passion for Rugby one step further, as he took to the field and refereed his first match - something he hopes he will turn into a lifelong career.
How did Archie get involved in Rugby?
The Redford family from Halifax eat, sleep, and play Rugby. His dad is the chairman of the local club, Elland, whilst mum Gemma is the child welfare officer. It is no wonder why Archie has such a passion for the game.
When he isn’t playing Rugby for his U13’s team, you will find him helping out the club wherever possible. His spare time has always been devoted to the game, and it seems he would do anything and everything to get involved in training sessions.
For his mum, Gemma, it comes as no surprise. “I think he's seen how much we give, and he’s always wanted to get involved, whether holding a tackle bag, when we were allowed to tackle bags, for the little ones; carrying the water on or running the line for open age, he’s always wanted to be involved.
His family's values and appreciation of the sport has no doubt been one of the main reasons Archie wanted to get involved with the refereeing side of Rugby.
Archie has clearly been heavily influenced by the referees he's encountered from playing local games as well as the professionals on TV. “ I really wanted to see the game from their perspective so I could understand it a lot more. It was just a great opportunity to go out there and give it my all.”
The first match as a referee
Like any referee, Archie was filled with adrenaline the night before for his first match, although he didn’t let last-minute nerves get in the way. “The night before I was really nervous. I couldn’t get to sleep because I was thinking about missing a decision. But the next day I just wanted to own it.” And own it he did!
Unfortunately for Archie, he is not able to referee at the Super League just yet, as his young age restricts him to only refereeing games with players younger than himself. However, we’re sure this is only the start for Archie, as he dreams of one day overseeing the Challenge Cup final.
This isn’t the only dream for Archie though, as he’d also love to become a Rugby player. Whether it’s scoring tries or calling the shots, we’re sure he’ll have a great career within the sport!
How the team at ACME Whistles want to help
After hearing about Archie’s fantastic first match, the team at ACME Whistles have contacted referees at the top of the sport in both codes to help inspire and give him advice for his future career. ACME Whistles’ Ben McFarlane said; “Archie is a truly inspiring young man. Not only has he given up much of his time to rugby at such a young age, but he also talks so passionately about the sport and helping others. The least we could do is help give Archie the chance to talk to those at the top of the game to nurture his passion. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a lot more of Archie in years to come.”
As for Archie, his next steps for his career would be to get more experience behind the whistle developing through the age-groups and onto stricter rules.
Although he is not sure himself what his next steps will be, he does know one thing for certain; “I'm not totally sure exactly what is next for me, but I know I just want to referee. I hope that other young referees like me will also be inspired to pick up the whistle.”
ACME Whistles want to do all we can to help young referees like Archie achieve their dreams, and inspire more people to get involved with all aspects of sport.