31st March 2022
MEET THE OFFICIALS - STEVE OUSELEY
Do you have an athletics background?
I do run; I ran as a child and won the 1500m nationals at Crystal Palace when I was 15 or 16 but didn’t quite make the GB vest qualifying time. I still enjoy it, do a bit of league cross country and ran the Snowdon marathon in 2019.
What interested you about officiating?
My daughter is a runner and she was at the events so I thought I could help out while I was there with her. I was standing around for an entire day watching the racing so it made sense to help out as well. She competes in cross-country, 1500m and 800m. I had no direct role with the club and someone mentioned an officials’ course so I went along and enjoyed it. It is great to be useful and to ‘give back’ to the athletics world. I enjoy it so I go to many events now that she’s not in.
Where are you in your officiating journey? (Level/discipline)
This was about three years ago and I am now a level two starter and a level one starter’s assistant. I got level 2 last year. I am keen to keep progressing with the levels.
Favourite moment as an official
Working as a starter is what I enjoy most – it’s that short period of time where you have ultimate control over that race. Once it has gone it is someone else’s responsibility. Making sure everyone has a fair start and get underway. It’s the adrenaline and the knowledge that it is up to me to make sure everything runs smoothly. It is a great feeling when it all goes well.
It is nice when my mentors, John Elwood and Rob Hooper, say it has gone well. They are always there on the end of the phone if I need any help and support.
What do you love most about officiating?
For all the enjoyment I got out of athletics as a child it is great to give a little back so the kids of today get their chance to shine. And, of course, it is great to watch some excellent athletics performances.
What are your ambitions in officiating?
I would like to get to level three. I need a bit more experience under my belt first so I can feel confident that I can do what I am doing well.
I have already done some junior indoor champs this year and have the regional indoors and cross country lined up. Most weekends I am doing an event.
It is time-consuming; it is easier if my daughter is competing at the event and I also have to fit it around running two businesses so I don’t have a lot of spare time!
What would you tell others who are thinking of becoming an official?
It is enjoyable and you meet some really nice people. It is rewarding and gives you a real purpose. It is positive and something for the community especially if you are there anyway – there is always something you can do to help. A lot of officials are needed to make the event and the results recorded.
I started out retrieving javelins or raking the long jump pit, but it is the running side that interested me as a former runner.
Describe what officiating means to you in 3 words