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international women's day: the officials' line - barbara charlish 

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Barbara Charlish


13 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.  


Barbara Charlish  

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

How long have you been officiating?
34 years.

What inspired you to become an official?
Helping out Bracknell A.C. When my son joined as an eleven year old athlete. Started helping out on field events at local league meetings.

What would you say to anyone wanting to get into officiating?
There are lots of rewards to be gained from meeting and forming friendships with fellow officials. Meeting, working with and helping athletes of all levels to perform to their best.

What has been the highlight of your officiating career?
Call Room official in the Call Room at London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games.

What can we do as a sport to achieve a #BetterBalance in officiating?
Start treating officials with respect and being fair to female officials when allocating meetings and duties.


Find out more about International Women's Day here

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