Volunteer starters are ready, steady, going
THE man with the gun at athletics meetings is becoming an endangered species, according to the body who promotes the sport in these parts.
Not only are starters hard to find, but all the other volunteers and officials that make up a competition are also thin on the track.
The West London Athletics Network (WLAN), which has helped look after the interests of nine clubs in six local authorities since 2010, need timekeepers, race starters and field judges from all walks of life to put on local and regional track and field meetings.
WLAN chair Paul Cuddihy insists encyclopaedic knowledge of athletics is just a bonus, not a necessity.
“People don’t need any previous experience of judging, or even athletics, just commitment and enthusiasm for the sport,” he said.
“Training will be provided and beginners will act as assistants to more experienced officials, before they progress to higher levels of officiating.”
The first step in training is a hands-on course organised by the sport’s governing body England Athletics.
The multi-disciplinary course takes in timekeeping, measuring, judging and starting.
After gaining experience, officials can go on to a further course to take a Level 2 qualification in a specific discipline and work towards a senior official once the bug bites.
Volunteers must be aged 14 or over. For more details, or to apply to become an official, contact Cuddihy at paulcuddihy@ hotmail.com.
To volunteer at Ealing, Southall and Middlesex AC, contact Bob Densley at email@example.com or by calling 01895 675522.
For more details about officials courses, see www.england athletics.org/officials.
Current members of WLAN include Ealing Eagles RC, Ealing, Southall and Middlesex AC, Harrow AC, Hillingdon AC, Queens Park Harriers, Serpentine RC, Team Hounslow, Thames Valley Harriers and West London Hammer School. EASTCOTE learned to win ugly as they triumphed 5-3 over Newbury & Thatcham on Saturday.
Coach Adam Mulholland will not look back on this as his team’s most sparkling performance of the year, but it was enough to keep them two points clear of Ashford at the top of the table. A brace each from leading scorers Kevin Haigh and David Cooper, plus a rare goal by Stan Le Guezec, did the trick to maintain their position at the summit.
Eastcote’s second string were beaten heavily at Maidenhead, going down 7-1, with a Chris Akhurst consolation the only high point.
There was also a defeat for Eastcote’s Ladies as they lost 4-2 to Buckingham second while the mixed side beat Wanderers 4-0 thanks to a Kevin Haigh hat-trick and Emilly Read in the England Hockey competition on Sunday.
The men’s seconds lost 7-2 at Teddington and the Over 50s went down 6-0 at Canterbury at the same event.