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John Tanner

My athletics journey, as opposed to officiating, started in the South London Business Houses League where I was persuaded to join my company’s athletic club. Within two years I had become club secretary and was busy organising fixtures as well as running, on a 300m grass track! Later I changed jobs and moved to Oxfordshire, and as there was no club within a reasonable distance gave up competitive running.

In 1969 I returned to Athletics as an official and became Track grade 4. Over the following years I became Referee grade on Track as well qualifying in Field, Timekeeping and Starter /Marksman. 

I became involved with Disability Sport in 1982 and have worked at all levels from coaching at Primary Sports Camps to refereeing the Paralympics in 1984, being a Technical delegate at the Seoul Paralympics in 1988 and Refereeing the World Championships in 1998. For many years I acted as a Technical delegate to various IPC meetings around the world. This involvement has made me many friends, and I am still in touch with them from as far back as 1984.

I was involved in the 1st London Marathon as a recorder at the 20 mile point, and am still involved today but on the Wheelchair Marathon side. I refereed this from 2000 until 2013.

My first involvement with Welsh Athletics started in 1986 at the St Athans indoor track (or aircraft hanger as it actually was), followed by Cwmbran in the summer. I must have enjoyed the company and the general atmosphere as I have been coming to Wales ever since!  

It has been a long but enjoyable journey from coaching 8 year old disabled youngsters to officiating at Olympic and World Championship events – and everything in between.