Focus On: Chris Pollock
A few years ago, a promising young rugby player named Chris Pollock was injured at the beginning of a rugby season. Rather than staying home, he took up refereeing, at least until he could go back to playing. One thing led to another and soon, Chris was asked to referee club games, quickly working his way through the national, then international levels .
Although he has been a full time referee for the last eight years, Chris started representing New Zealand Rugby Union in 2008, when he was selected in the IRB's touch panel. He was part of the 2011 World Cup referee panel and has been refereeing big international games such as Ireland v/s Scotland in the 2012 Six Nations as well as the second game of Wales tour of Australia that same year. But while his career was looking so promising, Chris was actually in a lot of pain.
"Four years ago, I was diagnosed with bony lumps on my hips, which were related to arthritis," Chris explains. "It kept getting worse. At the beginning of 2012, I was told that without an operation, I would be finished with refereeing by the end of the year. The operation was performed in June that year and for the next six months I didn't do anything else than a lot of rehab, seeing my physio at Focus Health twice a week. I started running again in January this year and went back to refereeing on the 17th of February."
After only six months of rehab, Chris is running alongside the best rugby men in the world.
Admittedly, his surgeon would have preferred Chris had taken a longer time to recover, but there was no holding back such an energetic man. "Not to mention that I would have missed on the new pink outfit!" laughs Chris.
So Chris Pollock, full time International Rugby referee, part time Hawkes Bay science and sports teacher and full time dedicated father is back on the international super rugby fields. Not only that, but he has recently been granted the honour of being one of three referees for the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia.
In the meantime, he continues to see his physiotherapist at Focus Health to make sure that he stays on track physically. We look forward to seeing him run alongside some of the best rugby players in the world –and keep them in line!