It's snow joke, our technical officials are the volunteers whose noel-edge of every claus of the rules help to keep competition fair. Yule be cognisanta that your tree-mendous new PB that you've been ho-ho-hoping for all season will make you the star of the elfent.
We caught up with some of our officials called "Noel" to find out why they love officiating.
Some of you may have seen Noel Moss starring during the London 2012 visually impaired triple jump! He was the field official that had to (twice) throw himself backward off his stool to avoid an athlete (watch: Venezuelan Herrera and Brazilian Pereira) not quite getting his run up to the pit as straight as he planned. But life as a top level official is not all about the fame or "being on the telly". In fact Noel told us that this year's highlight for him was to be at the first of the 2022 Cambridgeshire Open meetings in June, where he was the Meeting Manager.
"It was brilliant to see entry levels back up to pre-covid levels with entries of all ages from around the region and so much enthusiasm by all the athletes."
Did you know that most of our Level 3 and 4 Technical Officials volunteer at all levels of the sport, and there are hundreds of Level 1 and 2 officials who are helping their club every weekend and more. The chance to meet and get to know athletes and other officials at all levels is one of Noel's favourite things about officiating, and as is true for many other officials he says he loves helping athletes achieve something really special for them personally whatever their standard.
Noel McKakly is a Track Judge and in fact won the West Midlands Regional Services To Officiating back in 2011. He's also qualified in field, endurance, photofinish! As he says - there's a discipline for everyone, and he should know; he's been officiating for over 20 years now. He loves the camaraderie with his fellow officials - they're like my second family, he says.
His officiating highlight this year was acting as the Assistant Track Referee at the Commonwealth Games.
"It is my biggest achievement in athletics so far I was so proud and honoured to selected for the role and be part of the Commonwealth Games."
His other athletics highlight was being a track judge at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games,
"I was delighted to be part of a what was a fantastic Games in 2012."
Noel also likes helping new officials to the sport and passing on his knowledge. He became the Staffordshire County Officials' Secretary (COfSec) last year which put him in a great position to help those in the county who might be interested in becoming an official. Enthusiasm, pride and enjoyment are three words he uses to sum up his experience of officiating.