On the World Stage…..by Sue Maughan

It was great to see Welsh Athletes take centre stage at the recent World Para Championships in London, with Aled Sion Davies winning two golds and a world record in the Discus and the Shot, GB Team Captain Hollie Arnold winning gold in the Javelin, Olivia Breen jumping to gold in the Long Jump, Kyron Duke putting the Shot to claim silver and Jordan Howe streaming down the 100m to win a silver. 

What might be less apparent is that several other Welsh individuals also played a key role both behind the scenes as well as out on the field of play, with a total of 8 Welsh officials playing their own part in helping to deliver a successful championships.

Personally, I was honoured to have been selected as Chief Field Judge and was involved in leading a variety of events, from seated shot and javelin through to various ambulant throws.  It was the first time I had judged a T11 Long Jump where the athletes are totally blind and have a guide to help orientate them to the pit.  There were a couple of close shaves but it truly demonstrated the trust between two individuals, especially of the athlete jumping into the unknown.  It was great to see the beaming smile of the winner, American Lex Gillette and he was still beaming when I bumped into him the next day at the warm up track with his guide after he had collected his medal.  

I had a further honour when 2 weeks out from the Championships I was asked if I would read the Officials Oath at the Opening Ceremony on behalf of all the officials.  I was delighted to accept and found myself parading out to the podium with Team Captain Daniel Greaves and Coach Katie Jones to recite the oath just 15 minutes before I had to be out on site to judge my first seated throw…. no pressure!

There were challenges during the week…. long days, with sessions morning and night and several protests to overcome, all adding to it being a positive (but very tiring) learning experience!

It’s at times like these that you learn the value of a team.  I was leading 7 other officials throughout the week and the support we provided each other when the going got a bit tough, and we were all getting tired was invaluable with us all leaving having made new strong friendships from the experiences we collectively shared.

Whilst I was disappointed not to have judged one of our Welsh athletes, I was privileged to be elsewhere on the field judging another event when all the medals were claimed and could enjoy the cheers from the crowd and the celebrations.  It was also humbling to see the power of para sport in breaking down barriers, not just in respect of disability but also in terms of gender and it was wonderful to see female wheelchair competitors from Algeria through to Iraq, Tunisia to Latvia and Morocco competing at the highest level.

And so, onto the next.  The ‘Welsh Officials Tour’ will be heading back to London next Wednesday to do it all over again as we head to take on our respective roles at the World Championships which start on Friday 11th August.

Welsh Officials on Tour

 

World Para Championships

World Championships

Dave Jessett

ITO - Field Referee

Competition Director

Sue Maughan

NTO - Chief Field Judge

NTO - Chief Field Judge

Jeff Marsden

NTO –TIC Steward

NTO –TIC Steward

Sue Alvey

NTO – Field Judge

NTO – Field Judge

Jane Dakin

NTO – Field Judge

 

Amy Price

NTO – Call Room Steward

NTO – Field Judge

Carina Jones

NTO – Field Judge

NTO – Field Judge

Ceri Jones

NTO- Photofinish Judge

NTO – Call Room Steward

Would you like to get involved and #bethenext official then contact tom.marley@welshathletics.org to see what opportunities are available.

Welsh Athletics Ltd.
Cardiff International Sports Stadium
Leckwith Road
Cardiff. CF11 8AZ.

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