Why did you start officiating?
Initially I started to officiate on either the track or field events at age group league competitions to support our club. As a coach, it also gave me an opportunity to observe multiple events in one day to sharpen up my coaching skills. After I attended the level 1 official training, it wasn’t long before I realised that I still had so much to learn from officiating. I continued to gain experience at league competitions, as well as shadowing level 4 officials at the more advanced competitions for the older athletes (previously known as the British Athletics League and UK women’s leagues). In addition to this, to compliment my sprints coaching, I decided to attend photo finish training to gain an all around repertoire of skills. If I had to choose one officiating discipline, it would be photo finish. I suspect this is becomes I absolutely love coaching track events (mainly sprints) and feel a huge amount of fulfilment being part of the photo finish team at competitions as we work together to produce the ultimate element that all sprinters strive towards achieving (the race timed results).
What is your best officiating moment?
Currently, my best officiating moment took place at the Welsh Junior Indoor Championships 2020. I was working away on photo finish in the upper viewing nest of the National Indoor Athletics Centre, and to my surprise, in walked Colin Jackson and Eleri Sion. The team and I had a great time having brief conversations with them both in between working and observing Colin being filmed commentating in Welsh for a select part of the championships.
(Lorraine & Eleri Sion)
What are your future aspirations and advise for others?
I aim to continue to grow my skills as an athletics coach and an official, to allow me progress as swiftly and competently as possible. Athletes work so hard trying to perfect their skill to achieve maximum performances during competitions. It’s great to see the performances unfold amongst the athletes from youth through to elite level, right from the sidelines. There are so many coaching and officiating aspects to choose from, why not give them all a try to see which one suites you best.