Respect the Referee - Kevin Bush

Respect the Referee - Kevin Bush

Kevin Bush holds a few titles; School Principal, proud father, and a self-taught sailor. He lives a purposeful life, is well-travelled and just like any other kiwi has been influenced by rugby from day dot.

Kev played as a kid and has loved watching the game all his life, with one of his favourite rugby memories being watching the All-Blacks v Scotland test at Eden Park in 1975. As it so happens; he started his referee journey four seasons ago thanks to some clickbait on Facebook.

“I saw one of those notifications on Facebook that said ‘Your friend Dan likes ‘Become a Referee’ so I clicked on it. Next thing I was asked if I had a whistle then got told I was down to referee an under 12s game at Karaka the next Saturday, so come around to the stadium to get some gear”.

Though he was drawn into the referee world on the spot, there are a few factors which keep Kevin coming back to the pitch on a Saturday.

“If I wasn't giving up my Saturdays for rugby, I'd be either doing maintenance on my yacht or sailing, but I make the time to referee because of my love for the game.

“There’s also the need to keep fit and wanting to give back to the community. Additionally, I get to watch the game from the best seat in the house which is a real buzz.

“We can hear the smack talk between the players, see and hear the hits so up-close you almost feel the impact, and off course, we get to watch the game closer than anyone else, and from the best position.

“As a ref you get to make the calls so that the teams can have a fair contest. As someone once said to me ‘this is their test match - they may never reach higher honours so this may be the best game they'll ever play - and you’re the one who has the power to make that happen’ – which is something that has stuck with me over the years.”

The main thing Kevin wants people to remember is that our referees are volunteers who give up their own time to keep the game we love ticking over.

“None of us are perfect, we all go out there with the intent to get every call right and see everything, and when that doesn't happen it's not intentional.