This edition we connect with Whakatāne legend Ollie Arnold. Not only has Ollie been a part of our Club for 20 years, he serves the game both on and off the field. Ollie is also an important support pillar of mental and emotional health for any of our club members in need, often who are subject to some less that pleasant exchanges on the field.
Ollie is also a committed and proud part of the Eastern Bay Sub-Union Committee, so his contribution to our sport is immense! Have a read about Ollie below:
How many years have you refereed?
On and off I have referred since 1990. I wrote and passed my first law exam in June 1990. For the last 20 years, I have refereed every season in the Bay.
Why did you take up refereeing?
I was doing National Service in the South African Defence Force at the time, and if you did not play sport, you had to attend PT sessions. That served as the necessary inspiration. That, and my love for the game.
What is your occupation and where do you study and/ or go to school?
I am a clinical psychologist. I attended school in Randburg in South Africa and studies at the Rand Afrikaans University and completed my Masters degree at Potchefstroom University. I have also completed various other diplomas at EIT (Napier) and the Open Polytech. I started my schooling in Windhoek, Namibia.
What are some of your refereeing highlights?
I have officiated in various finals, but to be part of games like the Fatty Nuku trophy games have always been special. I guess the highlight was my first game refereeing at the Rotorua Stadium (it was a colts game).
Have you travelled anywhere with Rugby?
I have travelled to Gisborne on a couple of interchanges. Also to East Coast. All very enjoyable.
What is the best piece of refereeing advice you have received (refereeing or life)?
Respect the game and the players.
Would you rather...
…live one life that lasts 1,000 years or live 10 lives that last 100 years each?
The latter, variety is the spice of life….
…be a moron in a world full of geniuses or a genius in a world full of morons?
Sometimes where I work, I feel like Freud….
…cook or wash dishes?
Cook. I love cooking
…be able to teleport anywhere or be able to read minds?
Reading minds would be too much like work, let’s Harry Potter rather
…have hands that kept growing as you got older or feet that kept growing as you got older?