After 5 years as CEO for Northland Rugby Union, Jeremy Parkinson is returning to the commercial world. Although his absence will be felt, he’s not pushing off entirely – every Saturday, he can be seen out on the rugby field, as a new referee.
Jeremy has been involved in rugby all his life, from playing the game as a 5 year old to wearing the mantle of NRU CEO, he has certainly seen his fair share of the game and he loves every minute of it. Now, with his new shift in career focus, he feels it’s time to give something back to the community and to the game, which is why he’s become a rugby referee.
Building Rugby Team Culture
With his work as a Rugby Development Officer and a team Manager, Jeremy believes strongly in the importance of a positive team culture. He enjoyed the process of building a team and working with them to develop a culture which helped them grow as players and as people.
Cultivating the next generation of rugby players
Jeremy’s experience in developing team culture puts him in excellent stead for becoming a referee. He’s been coaching his son since he was 5, and 5 years later, Jeremy found himself refereeing his son’s games on Saturdays as well. He decided to take the next step and become a referee for the NRRA, and relishes the opportunity to get involved with grassroots rugby that this gives him.
Working with the younger teams, you’re not just the referee, you’re also in a prime position to do a bit of coaching as well. Jeremy loves the fact that he can draw on his own experience in rugby to have a positive impact on the young players, helping them understand the subtleties of the game. He enjoys the interaction with the players and finds feedback from the coaches particularly rewarding. “Some weeks, a coach will tell me that’s the best game they’ve had all season.” Encouraging the young players to play the best game they can, and watching them thoroughly enjoying that process is worthwhile.
How you can make a difference
As you can see from Jeremy’s story, becoming a rugby referee isn’t just about going through the motions of refereeing a game of rugby – it’s about assisting the rugby community and ultimately, having a positive impact on the game we all love.
We urgently need new rugby referees. We have people from all walks of life on our referee team – and we need you! Not only will you be giving back to the community and helping have a positive influence on the game, you will also be welcomed into the Northland Rugby Refereeing family.
If you have a passion for the game, and if you like the idea of helping foster the next generation of players, then call us today.