12th March 2019

International Women's Day: The Officials' Line - Dorretta Maynard

18 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.  

Dorretta Maynard 

What is your role as an official?
My role is as a field judge. I will be completing the track judge official course shortly. 

How long have you been officiating?
I have been supporting as a parent and coach officiating for five or six years and got my officials badge four years ago.

What inspired you to become an official?
Supporting the club as a parent as my daughter competed as an athlete and also because I enjoy athletics and supporting and motivating others.

What would you say to anyone wanting to get into officiating?
I would say it can be challenging hard work but it’s a rewarding role you learn so much and understand the dynamics of athletic activity and it’s a way of giving back to your community and the young generation as you build confidence knowledge and team work from the sport.

What has been the highlight of your officiating career?
Wow I have learnt so much. Getting to know the other officials the athletes from various cities. Learning and observing techniques for each discipline and what to look out for.  Going to different venues and championships.  The buzz and the atmosphere just to be part of any event from indoors YDL’s and other leagues. Knowing that my input and service is recognised.

What can we do as a sport to achieve a #BetterBalance in officiating?
To achieve a balance for better in officiating we need to ensure that new officials are given the opportunity to widen their standard level by informing them of current courses and to encourage more women to officiate. The current fee is £30 which has to be paid up front and claimed back from your club but I feel we could get more officials registering if the course was paid for especially as most officials like myself are volunteers.

Find out more about International Women’s Day here

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