Taking over the role under sad and urgent times, after the sudden death of my predecessor Maurice Doogan, with no hand over and a blank sheet of paper, I have worked through the challenges of Covid and the comeback of post-Covid competitions and come out the other side.
I have tried to improve how masters track and field athletics operates in the UK, including:
- Embracing technology (as you all have – thank you) to make the competitions run smoothly and efficiently. This has resulted in seamless, paperless processes from entry, registration, check-in, through seeding to call room and event sites.
- Addressing the challenges/constraints imposed on competition licensing of a maximum eight-hour day (ideally six). Our competitions were frequently 10 hours in length.
- Offer an athlete-friendly and focused competition environment that delivers a professional experience like all major championships should, e.g. podium presentations, proper call room etc.
- Being responsive to athletes’ needs (where practical to do so).
- Ensuring our indoor and outdoor championships are included on the national officials’ availability list to enhance the quality of officiating to ensure we can abide by the requirement of a Level 2 competition licence (and ensure records are ratified).
- Ensuring the resilience of our competitions:
- Through shared responsibility for key officiating roles
- Providing access to our competitions for those officials that would like to join us
- Through development opportunities for officials
- I have moved competitions around as much as stadium availability that can meet our specific requirements will allow (it’s a real challenge).
- Saving significant amounts of money ensuring all the T&F competitions across a season (indoor/outdoor) break even or make a small surplus through careful management of expenditure.
- Enhancing the services provided for the athletes, such as the live streaming of events for those who cannot make it, for athlete’s friends, training partners, family, and coaches back home, and/or those who want to review their own performances afterwards.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my 4 years as BMAF Track and Field Secretary.
That said, I now feel it is time to hand over the responsibility to someone else.
With the many other responsibilities I have (full-time work, family, athlete, Coach, Technical Official, UKA Officials Tutor, Club Chairperson, Country Committee member, EA Regional Counsellor etc.), I have now less time to put into this important role for the long term.
I also strongly advocate the need for change and fresh ideas and ensuring resilience in the operation of what we all do, so it’s my time to ‘hand over the baton’ to someone else.
If anyone is interested in finding out a bit more about the role or getting involved even only in some of it, come the AGM later in the year, then please do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org, or grab me at a competition soon.