Celebrating 10 years of officiating

As we complete our first round of officiating service milestone awards, we spoke to Tim Williams who has been a field official for 10 years and is now a Level 4. It’s quite a family affair with everyone involved with Thanet AC and his two daughters holding officiating qualifications, one already on the National List.

How did you first get involved in athletics?

I got into athletics when my 2 daughters joined a Sportshall athletics club, competing at indoor events. the club then formed into a full athletics club called Thanet Athletics Club in Ramsgate. I became the first aider to start with then I was asked to help coach and it moved on from there. I'm a qualified throws coach.

How did you get involved in officiating?

I went along to Kent young athletes league with the club and helping out on events. Got to meet people like 'the Guv' (John Askew), Bob Hammond and the famous Freemans, John and Gill - Gill is one of the Kent County Officials' Secretaries. I did the Level 1 course in about 2010, enjoyed it and have progressed from there. Meeting some great people from all over the UK and working my way up to Level 4 and officiating at events such as the Athletics World Cup, Diamond League events and then the Commonwealth Games.

Do you have a favourite officiating memory?

Being chosen for the Commonwealth Games has got to be my favourite memory, just being involved with the event in my home city, and meeting officials who have become friends. Officiating for some of the best athletes in the world in front of a packed stadium with a great atmosphere was an amazing experience.

Tim Williams at Commonwealth Games

What would be your dream event to officiate at and why?

My dream event is the pinnacle of officiating,  the Olympics especially a home Olympics. what more needs to be said.

Tim WIlliams at 2012

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learnt since becoming an official?

The amount of knowledge you have to gain to get to the senior levels; how to set up a pole vault, how to measure an implement, how to rake a pit correctly and using a EDM or VDM to measure distances.

How does it feel to know that you have served the athletics and running community for 10 years?

Knowing I  have given my time and help to a great sport and helping other officials to progress and to learn from officials who have been doing it for a lot longer and gaining knowledge from them to help me progress.

Officials receiving their officiating services badges image

Pictured is the Kent County Champs this year where Tim and many of his colleagues were awarded their Milestone awards and their volunteering celebrated.

What is it about officiating that makes you keep coming back for more?

The friendships I have gained from officiating. The evenings we spend in hotels having a meal together and drink or two, getting to know people and listening to the stories they have about their experiences in not only athletics but their everyday life.

What advice would you give to others looking to get involved in officiating?

Listen to other officials - some have a lot of experience at the top events - learn from them and watch how they do things to help you improve. I learn best by watching people and being able to watch people like John Askew, Chris Apsey and Julie Dew - seeing their experienced take on officiating has helped me no end. There is a lot of other people who have helped me but I can’t name all of them or I would need about 6 pages to name them all.