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15th annual officials conference a roaring success

Goldie Sayers at the 2018 Officials Conference

Sunday saw the 15th annual Officials’ Conference held with this year’s event focusing on the theme of ‘Achieving Our Best Performance’.

The conference, which was held at Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth, brought over 200 officials from across all areas of athletics and marks the beginning of another busy outdoor season.

Some of those in attendance will be officiating at the inaugural Athletics World Cup at the London Stadium in July, while others will be heading to the Birmingham Diamond League, Muller Anniversary Games in August and British trials amongst other events, including local & regional competitions, inter-school meets and a variety of other competitions.

The day began with an opening address from Olympic Games 4x400m relay silver medallist and three-time Commonwealth Games medallist Iwan Thomas, who thanked all in attendance for making the journey.

The keynote speech came from Olympic bronze medallist Goldie Sayers, who stressed how for her, no matter what the conditions, there was always a chance to reach your optimum performance.

“I always seemed to produce my best performances when the conditions were against me like in Beijing in 2008, for whatever reason everything seemed to add up on those days.”

She went on to outline five key variables she feels everyone within athletics will either experience or need to overcome to achieve their best performance.

“You need to have a specific goal which may sound generic, but you need to be able to outline what you want to achieve in your career either as an official or as an athlete,” she continued.

“You need hard work, I loved what I did and it makes getting up on a morning so much easier if you enjoy what you do, but you’ll also find obstacles in the way. What you then need to do is try and overcome them.

“The right attitude to apply yourself is essential, but most importantly of all, you have to take all opportunities. If not you, then who, and if not now, then when? It’s a saying that has stuck with me.

In recognition of their service to the sport, 12 officials were honoured with Long Service awards, celebrating more than 40 years each as officials.

Bill Adcocks, Roger Everton, David Varney, John Harper, Mike Sherman, Andy Ward, Geoff Wickens, Bill Thomson, Jakob Stegner, Kay Adcocks, Margaret Nelson, & Linda Dobbie were all recognised for their service.

The Young Official of the Year award went the way of Amy Price, with Paul Rutter picking up the Inspirational Official of the Year accolade. The David Littlewood Award was won by Owen Dearman.

The Officials’ Official for Track was presented to Clive Young and Officials’ Officials Endurance was shared between Anne and Bob Brimage.

Throughout the day, officials attended a series of workshops focusing on how to improve their skills and to share experiences and tips ahead of the new outdoor season getting underway.

The officials’ pathway, conflict management, disability track and field, Clean Athletics and Effective Communication were some of the workshops on offer.

Officials were also informed of any rule changes they needed to be aware of heading into the start of the new outdoor season.

Thomas closed the conference concentrating on why the role of the officials remains so important.

“Without you, the officials, there is no athletics. Keep up the good work and keep working towards achieving your best performance throughout the year.”

For more information on how to become an official, visit: http://www.uka.org.uk/competitions/officials/

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