Sara Cox: Professional International Rugby Referee

Sara Cox: Professional International Rugby Referee

Biggest professional achievement to date?

Being in a position where the RFU gave me a contract making me the world’s first professional female referee. It was a massive achievement for me personally, as well as being a huge step forward for women in sport; it was an absolutely massive statement for them to back and support me.  

It was also huge for me, because I’d put in a so much hard work to get myself into the position where a contract was an option.

Going to the Olympics in Rio; the biggest sporting event in the world, was another milestone.  It was an experience I’ll never forget and a huge eye opener on many different levels.


Most profound, life changing moment, in business?

Quite often it’s the small things that you take for granted and don’t necessarily realise, at the time, that they’re so significant. For me, it’s the whole journey; there’s nothing definitively that I can pin point and say that was a turning point. It’s the small things that happen along the way, and the saying yes to opportunities when they come up, that make you a rounded person and give you a better understanding of what’s out there.


Best life advice given?

Run with every opportunity that you get given. There was a time when I was too scared to take opportunities; when I was too frightened to put myself out there and go for it.  If you feel that way, talk to people and listen; you’ll soon get the courage to start making your own story.


Advice for a young woman stepping into the world from school, college or uni?

Go and explore!  If travelling the world is something you want to do, go and do it. Don’t be afraid; find the people who want to do it with you and go together. And stick your hand up and be counted!


Which book has had the greatest influence on your life?

The Chimp Paradox by Prof Steve Peters.  I love understanding how the human body and mind works; not necessarily to steer me in a certain direction, but just to understand why certain things happen and how you can better manage them.  On a rugby pitch, as annoying as something maybe, you have to keep your cool. When you’ve got 25,000 people watching your every move, there are cameras everywhere & you’re live on Sky, it definitely helps to be able to keep your cool!

If you could make one change to the world?

I’m very passionate about recycling, so a better understanding of how recycling works and how it impacts us, would be a change I’d definitely want to make;  educating the younger generation and having a more rounded view of its importance.


What does 2018 hold for you?

I’ve no idea! Yes I know the events I’m heading to; the Women’s Six Nations, the Commonwealth Games, the Seven’s World Cup.  As for other stuff, I’ve no idea and that’s the exciting bit! Anything’s possible!


Heartfelt belief?

Who you are now is not who you’ll be in two, three or even twenty years’ time. Be content and live with minimal regrets.  Do I regret things now? No. What I’ve done in the past has led me to who I am now and what I do today will determine who I am in 5 years time.  

“Be comfortable with the uncomfortable”




Video From The Celebration


100 Most Influential Women 2018

Grow Exeter Magazine launched the ‘100 Most Influential Women 2018’ in Exeter and the region in December 2017 and we received around 500 nominations for influential women from all walks of life; our panel was spoilt for choice and hard-pressed to select only 100 from the talented nominees that they viewed.  The Launch of the ‘100 Most Influential Women’ awards in 2018 has perhaps even more value than in any other year as it was just 100 years ago that the first woman was granted the right to vote in the UK.

Women have truly shown that they can shine in any environment, whether that be in the boardroom, teaching our children, climbing mountains, navigating uncharted waters, they can do anything that they set their mind to and we can’t wait to celebrate our own talented 100.

Honouring women in our March edition of Grow Exeter fell in line with International Women’s Day on the 8th March and the 100 finalists have each been featured in this special edition. To see the 100 finalists individually featured, please grab a copy of our March edition by ordering through the link below. We will be publishing each woman online throughout March and April so keep an eye on our Facebook page or website for their stories.

A huge congratulations to everyone nominated and to the #100WomenExeter, you are all amazing!


March Edition ‘Women in Business’



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