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UK Athletics

UK Athletics Officials Conference

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20 April 2008



The 5th UK Athletics Annual Officials Conference takes place today in Coventry. With an opening address from UK Athletics Chief Executive Niels de Vos and talks from recently retired Olympic athlete Jason Gardener and Chief Executive of the International Paralympic Committee Xavier Gonzalez, it promises to be a huge success.


De Vos, who has been in post for nearly one year at UK Athletics, believes the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games may well be judged by how well the athletics competition goes, not just in terms of British medals but the smoothness of organisation and event delivery.


He said: "British track and field officials have long been the envy of the world and it seems that every time we host an IAAF or EAA event on these shores it is rated as 'the best ever'.


"It will, to a very large degree be down to the people at the officials conference to ensure that these world leading standards are maintained and further enhanced in London."


Alan Bell, Chairman of the UK Athletics Technical Committee, will lead the conference and present a paper as part of the Officials education Programme to be launched in the autumn.


He said: "The programme will help senior officials to acquire the skills and confidence to pass their knowledge to younger officials.


"We have some of the best skilled officials in the world now and need to have a secure way to pass on this knowledge to the next generation.


"Having Xavier attend as a leading disability expert is a great way to give the 200 officials attending the chance to listen and gain from his wealth of experience."


Former World Champion, multiple European Indoor Champion and Olympic gold medallist Jason Gardener plans to talk about his experiences at major championships: "I will look to give the conference an insight into working with officials from an athlete's point of view."