Olivia Holbrook flies the flag for young Officials

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.

Olivia Holbrook holding a white flag at an event

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.

Olivia Holbrook officiating at a youth event

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.

Articles in this series

The Role of a Welfare Officer