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international women's day: the officials' line - fiona hancock 

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Fiona Hancock

11 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.  

Fiona Hancock 

What is your role as an official?
I am a Level 4 Field Official and a Level 1 Track Official.

How long have you been officiating?
I 'officially' started my officiating career in 2012 but had been assisting before that date. As I was asked to help more and more often, I decided it was time to take it more seriously, so did the training course.

What inspired you to become an official?
I have been involved in athletics since 1976 as an athlete, then became a coach in 2001 and an Official in 2012.   I wanted to put something back into the sport I love - if there had not been any volunteers officiating when I was an athlete I would not have been able to compete. It's my way of thanking those Officials and being there for the next generation. Plus, I like what I do.

What would you say to anyone wanting to get into officiating?
I would encourage anyone who wanted to become an official. I would support them as best I can and hope they love it as much as me. I have been responsible for bringing in a few officials who are progressing through the levels.

What has been the highlight of your officiating career?
I haven't been lucky enough to Officiate at any of the major games held in the UK but have been involved in officiating at championships and meetings where athletes have excelled and achieved PB's and or won and that is what it is about for me. Being a part of their journey in athletics.

What can we do as a sport to achieve a #BetterBalance in officiating?
My only thought for improving and retaining officials is to rotate the officials available for major games with officials new at that level so that more new officials can have that experience.

Find out more about International Women's Day here

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