The Officials Conference Returns
10/03/2022 00:00, In Blog /
Sunday 6th March saw the return of the in-person, Welsh Athletics Officials Conference! The event took place at the Vale Resort Hotel, who provided excellent service and hospitality for our conference. The conference provided the opportunity for our Officials to network, connect and learn through a series of presentations by guest speakers covering a range of different topics. Officials of all levels were present and their engagement was great from start to finish making it a very successful day.
The morning was opened by Zoe Holloway (WA Officials & Volunteer Development Officer) followed by an update of year so far from James Williams (CEO of Welsh Athletics). A track & field update from Rhiannon Linington-Payne (Head of Competitions) was then provided.
The second part of the day featured the first main presentation. This session was led by Sue Maughan and featured presentations that aimed to help our officials broaden their understanding of the different disciplines involved with officiating. Rory Mckerlich presented on the different types of roles and best practise on the track. Geoff Wickens presented on best practice use of recording sheets, lap charts and a duty sheet for timekeeping. Rob & Sue Hooper shared their experience of the electronic starting systems and top tips for how to spot false starts and creating duty sheets. Becky Gibbs provided insight into field officiating how to correctly use the flags, top tips in jumps & throws events and how to put together a duty sheet. All of the presentations from our officials shared how to maintain best practice and how to overcome any issues from their experience. The panel were then asked questions and shared their knowledge in a Q&A session including Sue Alvey for the field.
After lunch, this saw the second session of the day. This involved an overview of the role of the technical manager, equipment officer and clerk of the course. This featured a presentation from Chris Price who spoke about the different types of equipment, use of duty sheets and checklists.This included the opportunity for our officials to get to understand how to use equipment such as a field countdown clock and an electronic distance measurement system. This helped further understanding and how to maintain best practice when using this equipment on the field.
Finally, a fantastic presentation delivered by Ben Davies-Thompson from Disability Sport Wales providing our officials with information on how to support inclusion within the competition environment. This delivered helpful guidance on how to support athletes with Autism. Ben spoke over different athletics scenarios and challenged our officials with questions on how they would respond. This was very useful and engaging for our officials and helped to broaden their understanding of how and why you should respond to different situations.
Our appreciation and thanks go to the above for their support and contributions to making the day a great success. As ever, a huge thank you to everyone that attended our first in-person Officials Conference back since the pandemic.
Without our officials community athletics simply would not function and we would not be able to provide the brilliant events across Wales. So, from us at Welsh Athletics thank you for the ongoing and enthusiastic support for Athletics.
Recorded content will be available on Youtube soon.