Referee Profile: Nathan Pinder

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Referee Profile

Name: Nathan Pinder

Hometown: Kingston

Number of years involved in rugby: 12

Club/Previous team affiliation: Regiopolis – Notre Dame High School

Favourite rugby team: New Zealand All Blacks

What got you into refereeing: Whenever I played as a youngster, I would get pretty hot-headed, especially toward referees! To learn more about what refereeing was all about (“How hard really could it be?”) I joined the Auckland Rugby Referees Association. In my first few games I was humbled really quickly! It opened my eyes to a whole new level of the game, and I grew to love it. A healthy knowledge of referee thought-processes certainly came in hand as a player as well.

Favourite part of refereeing: I love being part of the action, being put under pressure, racing every player in-goal. I get to meet with some genuinely awesome people, especially those at the grassroots level in Canada, who organize and manage rugby simply because they love the game. At the same time, I enjoy being able to use my position as a referee to instill the values of rugby in younger kids whenever I get the chance to referee them.

Most memorable experience in rugby: In Auckland the society is very good at encouraging younger referees. Three days after my 11th birthday, I was told I had done a good job on my first few games, so I was going to be asked to referee a curtain-raiser match for a Super Rugby game at Eden Park – the same place that I had watched the All Blacks win RWC 2011 just a year earlier! It was such a great experience to have as a rookie, it inspired me to stay with it.

What they love to do outside of rugby: I’m enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program at school, so I have a love/hate relationship with studying! I usually spend at least one night on a weekend out with my friends, whether that be playing pond-hockey, going to a movie, or someone’s house. I also enjoy weightlifting in the off-season.

One piece of advice you would give to new referees: Understand that you don’t know everything, that unfortunately there’s probably another angle, another perspective that you may not see, and that there will always be a supporter or player who calls you out on it! Actively be humble and empathetic, embrace the pressure, and you’ll find refereeing very challenging, but very rewarding.