For National Volunteering Week we are celebrating the outstanding contribution of Coaches and Officials to athletics and running across the country. Today we shine the spotlight on Olivia Holbrook, a young Official who is already well on her way in her Officiating journey.
How long have you been passionate about athletics and where did this stem from?
I started running at primary school when I was in Year Three. I was eight years old and had been asked to take part in school's cross country. I joined Trafford AC when I was ten years old as my dad and sister were already members. I enjoyed competing and made lots of new friends who I am still good friends with now. It was something I felt I was good at, so I wanted to do more.
What was your motivation to become an Official?
I love being involved in athletics, so as well as running and taking part in competitions I enjoyed volunteering at Trafford AC for Medal Meets. One day I was asked to help out as an Official and really enjoyed it.
How have you found the journey from athlete to Official?
I wasn’t competing anymore so I found it easy as I still wanted to be involved in athletics and Trafford AC.
Did you enjoy the Level 1 Field course?
Yes I did, but I was quite nervous at first as I was the youngest one on the course and didn’t think I would know as much as I did! I was happy about that!
What are you most looking forward to now you are a licensed Level 1 Official?
I am excited to go for my Level 2 Field course because I want to be more involved in bigger competitions and it will allow me to have new opportunities.
What advice/feedback would you give someone in your position who is considering Officiating?
My advice would be to just give it a go! I have found everyone very friendly and helpful. It has helped me gain confidence and make new friends.
Any additional comments you would like to make?
I am only 16, but I hope that I can continue to encourage and motivate young athletes in competitions as well as off the field.