I started officiating with Welsh Athletics from December 2013. Having been an athlete with Coventry Godiva, Cardiff, Stevenage and North Herts many years ago, I joined Swansea Harriers in 2014 to help at fixtures.
I was Midlands Counties Junior Javelin Champion, Warwickshire, and Coventry also, before going to Cardiff College (Now Cardiff Met) in 1974 to train to be a PE teacher. I was British Colleges Javelin champion and competed with Cardiff in the British League Division 1.
As a PE teacher in Stevenage in the 1980s I competed for Stevenage and North Herts Club and set up and managed the Schools Athletics league in that area for a few years.
I then moved to Wales in the 1990s and it was not until I retired from Teaching that I returned to athletics. I started to Officiate and was introduced to officials at Swansea Harriers who were and have always been supportive.
During the past 6 years I have qualified to level 3 and hope to move to level 4.
Working with other officials, athletes, coaches, and volunteers has been rewarding in many ways. On a personal level I have made many new friends enjoying experiences at events from junior indoor meetings to Junior International meetings where working together has been great fun.
My qualification is as a field official and I have taken on various roles including technical manager, field referee, clerk of course, and meeting manager at the Welsh Masters Championships.
I am keen to promote the recruitment of new officials and have attended Welsh and UK Officials conferences. The mentoring program for Officials is an area of development I see as especially important, being something that was not well developed when I started. However, I was fortunate to be mentored and supported by two highly qualified Welsh Officials in Sue Alvey and Dave Jessett.
As well as Officiating at Welsh Events (and Midland and Eastern Counties events) I also Officiate for and compete at Masters athletics and have been to Welsh and British Masters Championships to Officiate and Compete, and also European and World Championships as an athlete. I am a Director with Welsh Masters Athletics Limited, my role being Webmaster.
During the past 6 years I have been fortunate to be involved with the many experienced Officials and benefitted from numerous impromptu mentoring discussions before, during and after events.
Officiating in Wales and UK is of an extremely high standard because of the many experienced Officials. However, if athletics is to continue at any level more Officials need to be trained. There have been some situations where meetings have been cancelled, however I am pleased to say that Welsh Athletics is putting into place systems to provide training, recruitment, and acknowledgement of Officials progress.
If you are reading this and wondering ‘should I get involved and qualified’ I can only urge you to say ‘yes’. There is support and you will have experiences that you will always remember.