Look more closely at the people walking in the parade and you will see that the ESAA Championships provides opportunities not just for athletes but also for officials to experience a big event. They also have to adjust to staying away from home and performing at the top level in front of a big crowd.
In recent years, counties have been encouraged to nominate young officials to play their part in the stadium. Maisie Hollingworth describes her first experience of judging at a national level.
Being out on the track in a prestigious stadium, with a huge crowd was an experience far beyond what I could have ever imagined. It was an eye-opening experience which has shaped my officiating career. Working with some of the best officials in the country taught me a great deal and I have been able to learn and expand my knowledge to progress further through my officiating journey. This experience has allowed me to officiate for some of the best young athletes this country has to offer and has allowed me to gain and insight into all of the incredible things officiating has to offer.
The Championships is an amazing experience which has allowed me to socialise with other officials who have the same passion as I do. Last year I had the honour to take part in the athlete’s parade with my fellow young officials which was an unforgettable opportunity. To officiate at the Championships as a starter’s assistant was definitely the highlight of my officiating career so far and has opened up many new pathways into the officiating world for me.
Just as athletes gain experience for senior championships from the pyramid of competitions organised by ESAA, so too do officials. Aiden Smith and India Hollingworth took their place at the 2012 Olympics and 2017 World Championships respectively as officials, after representing their counties at the ESAA championships.
For me attending these championships will always remain as one of the highlights of my summer officiating calendar. Not only is this the opportunity in which I can officiate for some of the best athletes in our country but also work alongside some of the best officials this country has to offer. I have been able to learn and grow as an official at this level and it has shaped my officiating journey.
Official, 2017 World Championships