Rugby Referee & Rugby Referee Hub Manager
4th Year Sports Science with Management student, Owen Waters, not only plays for Loughborough Students Rugby in the National League Two North, but also gives up his time to referee and coordinate rugby referees on campus in his role as a hub manager.
Tell us a little bit about yourself (hobbies, interests and background):
I am currently in my final year following a placement year down near London and come from Bath originally. A lot of my time at the moment is taken up by playing rugby for the 1stXV and all the preparation that comes with that, trying to find myself a job following graduation in summer and convincing my housemates and girlfriend to make tik toks with me… the last two have been quite unsuccessful, so far…
How did you first get involved in volunteering within sport at Loughborough?
I started as a player in 1st year when I was invited to rugby pre-season where I briefly learned about the CVA and how they contribute to sport on campus. I was quickly convinced to qualify as a referee and it opened my eyes to all the opportunities available to everyone by the CVA.
During your years at Loughborough what have you got involved in through volunteering within sport?
In my primary role as a volunteer referee, I have officiated numerous IMS matches as well as Super Series and the one day rugby 7s event… Following first year I took up the rugby hub manager role alongside Harvey to become responsible for the recruitment and development of volunteer referees here on campus. I have also been selected to attend a student leadership programme orchestrated by BUCS alongside 29 other student from across the UK as well as becoming work place first aid qualified for the next three years.
What has your experience volunteering been like whilst at Loughborough?
I had no idea about the huge amounts of effort and strategic thinking that goes on by so many people in Lboro Sport that organise and implement sport on campus that is ultimately run by student volunteers. Personally, it has been only positive, and I am confident in saying that all the referees will say the same.
How has being involved with Loughborough Sport helped you develop and progress (personally and professionally)?
Holding a managerial role at university has played beautifully into my ambitions to become a management consultant, allowing me to understand the theory behind leadership and managing and developing teams. These are skills that will still be relevant despite the changing future of work. This understanding is further supplemented by the leadership course I have been selected to attend. Personally, from volunteering as a referee, it develops a whole host of skills such as decision making, communication and dealing with pressure – all fantastic life skills.
What’s the best advice you could give to a Loughborough student looking to get involved in volunteering & gain the most out of their university experiences?
You never know what opportunities will arise from putting your foot in the door… There are so many courses, qualifications and rewards for those that are pro-active and commit, which is most Loughborough students. Get stuck in and broaden your experiences, they will always come in handy.