Athletes turn up at meetings, across all the disciplines – Track & Field; Road; Cross Country; Fells – and ‘take it for granted’ that the Officials will be in place to help run the event. That can mean anything from raking a pit in the Long Jump, to be being responsible for a Team of Officials and in some cases, be responsible for the whole event. So who are these people who give so much of their time? In the immortal words of the Beatles…”Let me introduce to you…..” lifelong member and Life Member of Blackburn Harriers.
Chris Wood received notification on November 24th that he had been accredited at Level 3 as a UKA Starter and from January 2014 will become eligible for National and International level meetings. In his own words these were “three hard years” involving “Some 100 meetings with 10 formal assessments, written exam and two years of log books scrutinized by members of the peer group. Then a formal application which is presented to the National Peer Group for review of the evidence and input from group members”.
Not everyone who helps the Club with Officials at some point in the year wants to go as far as Chris has done, but his is an example of how far an Official can progress with time, effort and commitment. Typically, Chris who was delighted to achieve this standard, turned his thoughts to the question of recruiting and developing Officials and commented “I would encourage anyone to try their hand as an athletics official, especially as a marksman or starter. There is a great deal of enjoyment, fun and satisfaction from working effectively as a team. From the early days of Level 1 officiating there is clear path to more responsibility and higher level meetings. At each stage there will be experienced colleagues only too happy to offer support, guidance and friendly words of advice, as well as playful banter. There is a real need for officials to work at Club level supporting the various regional and national leagues. No aspiring official who is prepared to listen, work hard and apply what they learn should have any qualms about working at any of these competitions under the watchful eye of an experienced chief”.
If you are keen to get on the path of being an Official, from just helping out or advancing to higher levels, just contact the Club at [email protected] and we will help you all we can.