“When Craig posted on the Club Facebook group about an upcoming Endurance and Risk Awareness Course run by Scottish Athletics, I put myself forward to do it as I thought it would be a great way to learn more about the other side of running and give something back by getting involved with officiating.

On the course the average age of attendees was probably 60+ years and for the second part (the risk awareness session) this jumped to 70+ years. The attendees for the second part were qualified officials who were there for the risk assessment which they must do regularly, I believe yearly. They were a great bunch and had some fantastic stories and words of wisdom to share about their own experiences as officials. Unfortunately it seems from speaking to them, that not enough younger people are completing officiating courses and it is becoming a smaller pool of people available for the required duties.

The course was for one day and held on a Sunday at the Sport Scotland building at the Gyle. It covered everything from Course Set-Up, Marshalling, Recording and most importantly Risk Assessment.  As a relatively new runner, I don’t have first-hand experience of a number of the practices used at the start and finish of races so it was great to learn more about these. The delivery of the course was good and I found the content really interesting. The course really opened my eyes to the amount of work and considerations required to organise, manage and run an event of any size or distance.

Having completed the course, I have since done one of the required experiences needed to become a licensed Club Official and am hoping to complete the rest in the early part of next year. After hearing the officials on the course talk of timekeeping/recording, where a mass of people cross the finish line at once, stopwatches get clicked at the speed of light and numbers are shouted out left, right and centre I was rather nervous about doing the timekeeping at the 7R’s this year but I needn’t of worried, it was a lot easier than I expected and I really enjoyed it. Cross country however might be a different story!

For anyone considering the course or who would like to get more involved, I would strongly recommend it. It’s important that the events we so enjoy taking part in, continue to have the volunteers required which enable them to take place. I’m not sure how many events I will manage to officiate at but even 4 or 5 a year is better than none.”

If anyone is interested in doing an official’s course, please speak to Kim or Craig who can provide more details.