Referee dreams become reality for rugby fan Arthur

With a rare heart condition preventing him to play rugby, CHS Junior, Arthur now has a bright future in refereeing thanks to a bespoke sports curriculum provided to him at School – and his ambition has captured the hearts of the Rugby community!

Diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart condition he’s had since birth, his health challenges haven’t stopped him doing much, but playing contact sport, was never on the cards.

Having grown up in a family of rugby fans, watching his brother Noah – now an Old Waconian (former CHS pupil) – play regularly, resilient Arthur was keen to give refereeing a go after Noah’s fellow former classmate made the compassionate suggestion.

“It was my brother’s friend Connor who came back one day having refereed and said I should give it a go,” Arthur, says.

“Until then my condition had never allowed me to play, and I had to sit on the sidelines, but now I’m at the centre of the game as a referee. It’s amazing.” 

Now with the help of CHS Sports Coach, Mr Cartwright, his own alternative sports curriculum has been created, allowing him to safely learn and develop refereeing skills to oversee games in School.

Mr Cartwright said: “Refereeing has not only allowed Arthur to become part of the sport he loves, it has also helped him develop the range of skills he needs to manage a game.”

Arthur added: “I really love being there on the pitch. It is sometimes strange when my friends have to treat me differently and respect my decisions as the referee, but we soon get back to normal in the playground after.”

“Since I’ve started to learn how to referee at School, I would love to make it a job – something I never thought possible before.”

“I really want to learn more, carry on and see where it can take me.” 

Although Arthur’s journey started only three months ago, his story has captured the imagination of the sport.

Ruck magazine has already featured a story about him and Sale Sharks have invited him to guest referee a game.

Professional referee whistle supplier ACME have sent him his own custom-made whistle and arranged a video meeting with top rugby referee Luke Pearce to inspire him on his journey and pick up some extra tips.

Luke told Arthur: “There will be good times, there will be bad times, but most importantly keep enjoying it and you’ll go far, there’s no doubt about that.”

We’re all excited to follow Arthur on his journey as he continues to develop his skills and experience as a referee.