Volunteers’ Week – England Athletics Award winner focus Nigel Grist

In 2017 Nigel Grist was winner of the England Athletics Volunteer Awards Official of the Year award in the South West region.

Find out more about Nigel and how you can nominate in a range of categories including Club of the Year, Coach of the Year, Official of the Year and more.

Whether it is a club, coach, official, volunteer, project that supports individuals to overcome barriers to participation you can nominate NOW for the England Athletics Volunteer Awards 2018 at

To celebrate Volunteers’ Week from 1-7 June we will be giving away five pairs of tickets to the Manchester International people who nominate their worthy volunteers! Nominate now to be entered into the draw!

Nigel Grist

Nigel is a Level 4 Starter and Starter’s Assistant, based in the South West, who volunteers regularly within his local region. Although he is in high demand across the South West, Midlands and Wales, he never neglects his home county, always making himself available for local school and regional competitions.

As is his way, he knows his rule book inside out and ensures it is stuck to, but he never assumes athletes already know how the race will be started. His ‘excellent manner’ with athletes ensures that every athlete feels comfortable when they see Nigel by the start line.

His personal approach to officiating makes him one of the ‘most approachable officials I know’, his nominator stated, and ‘without him, many events just simply could not take place’. But more than that, he also ensures every athlete has the chance to compete, remembering the little things; with one athlete with dyspraxia, he remembered to ensure that they were always placed in the lane nearest the rails, offering the athlete the opportunity to compete in a safe and secure environment. His caring demeanour and readiness to make small adjustments to allow everyone to compete successfully saw him thrill two young deaf girls as they competed at their first ever county championships.

Despite the demand for his services, and the busy days that ensue as he carries out his duties, he is never too busy for the personal touches that make a competition experience great for athletes, coaches, spectators, officials and other volunteers. What a guy!