Aberdeenshire athletics official, Pam Auckland, has been selected for the European Indoor Athletics Championships to be held in Glasgow in March 2019. Pam is one of about 34 Scottish Athletics officials who have been invited. She expects to be quite busy with her role in the call room and she is excited for this opportunity where she will have extensive direct contact with the athletes.
Pam initially got involved in athletics through her children who joined and competed for Banchory Stonehaven Athletics Club as soon as they were old enough. While she had enjoyed athletics in school and watching major events on television, she was not especially knowledgeable of the sport of athletics prior to volunteering.
Pam volunteered at league meetings for several years prior to attending her first officials training course. She has been a qualified official since 2009, initially training in both track and field events, but through practical experience decided that she preferred the field events. She later began volunteering for Scottish national events and then, other major events throughout Britain, including Diamond League meetings, Anniversary Games, British Championships, and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Pam is currently a Level 4 Field Judge and officiates for jumps and throws events. Occasionally, she will fill the role of Clerk of Course or of Technical Manager whose job it is to set up the field of play, make sure that all equipment is at the event site, and check in and examine athletes' personal implements and other equipment. Additionally, in the past year, she has become a Level 1 Field tutor, now sharing her knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm with future field officials.
Pam continues to learn, stating “every meeting is a learning experience,” and working with other long-serving and experienced officials gives her confidence. Through her various experiences as an athletics official, she has made friends throughout the UK and greatly enjoys meeting up with them occasionally or, in the summer, almost weekly, to work together and share ideas and opinions. Pam especially enjoys the “buzz of competition at any level” and greatly values her opportunities to “enable athletes to take part in competitions.”
To less experienced volunteers or those thinking of volunteering, Pam says “all are welcomed and there are usually plenty of experienced people to keep them right. It is all about team work, learning from each other and trying to ensure the best experience for the athletes.”
Anyone wishing to learn more about volunteering in athletics is invited to attend Aberdeen Amateur Athletic Club’s indoor open graded meetings this winter at Aberdeen Sports Village. Details may be found at www.aberdeenaac.co.uk. Or, send questions to Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org or Emma at email@example.com. More comprehensive information about becoming a qualified official, including courses, may be found at https://www.scottishathletics.org.uk/officials/.