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UK Athletics
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international women's day: the officials' line - margaret baird 

Margaret Baird

03 March 2019 

International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8 March every year and is a focal point in the movement of women’s rights.  This year’s campaign theme of #BalanceforBetter is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world. 

Athletics prides itself on being a gender balanced sport and our officials play a major part in achieving this, where currently there are 59% male and 41% female officials in the UK.  In support of International Women’s Day 2019, throughout March, we will feature Officials across the UK to celebrate them and their commitment to athletics.  

Margaret Baird from Dunfermline, Scotland

What is your role as an official?
I am an Athletics Track Judge, Level 4.

How long have you been officiating?
I have been officiating for eleven years.

What inspired you to become an official?
I got involved as I had been ill, and my husband suggested I do something "just for me". I had been a hurdler in my early years, and my nephew was competing in triple jump. My brother-in-law suggested I "come along and see what goes on." I have been coming along to see what happens ever since.

What would you say to anyone wanting to get into officiating?
It's a great hobby, you learn something new every time you are officiating, there is a wonderful community of officials from all walks of life wishing to do their best for athletes. There is a care system in place to support new officials, nobody is forced to progress passed their own choice of Level and it is something you can do for as long as you wish.

What has been the highlight of your officiating career?
The absolute highlight of my career was to be a Track Official at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.

What can we do as a sport to achieve a #BetterBalance in officiating?
I think as a sport to achieve #BalanceforBetter Officiating, encouragement to meet with other officials in different cities always lets someone see the good and bad points of what we are used to at "home". Listen and be open to new ideas.

Find out more about International Women's Day here

If you want to get involved in officiating, find out more information here