I’m not a sporting person, but I got the boccia bug and with six month’s experience of club Boccia, I attended a Level One Officials course, well led by Tutor Richard. I quote from his closing words: “You’ll officiate at a couple of matches to qualify, but don’t worry, we ease you in gently; you’ll be a timekeeper or liner to start with.”

I bought myself a pair of black tracksuit bottoms and trainers ready for my debut. The big day dawned and I arrived early and was given a lovely new Boccia England t-shirt to go with my new trousers and trainers.  Then I was introduced to the Head Referee. “Am I timing or linesman?” I asked innocently. When she stopped laughing, she told me that I was refereeing five matches because they were short of officials that day. 

The day went as you'd expect.  I made some silly errors, got too nervous to remember basic rules and got told off very gently by a coach for missing the most obvious fouls in the history of boccia. I muddled through my first couple of matches, and started to relax and enjoy the day until I felt a cold draft on my leg. My new trousers had split from hip to knee down one side! Then I leaned over the other side to find…yes, they’d split down that side too and my hairy thighs were on display. This was not because of my big gluteus maximus, it was a manufacturing fault; honest!

Nevertheless, I qualified as a Referee and continue to enjoy volunteering, but you won’t find me at a tournament without a spare pair of trousers!