Hello again AquaZoners!
My name is Helen and I am a 17-year old competitive swimmer at Portsmouth Northsea Swimming Club (PNSC).
When I was 14 I took my first step towards becoming a Young Official with a timekeeper course. Having attended the Youth Sport Trust National Talent Camp in December 2014 I am now on the Talent Programme as a young official.
Over the weekend of 28-29 March I officiated at the European Open Down Syndrome Competition at the Quays, Southampton, as one of eight Timekeeper / Inspector of Turns, and one of the four Timekeepers for the 800m and 1500m session.
This was my first time being an official at an International meet and only my second time officiating at a disability meet; I was a timekeeper at a Disability Gala in 2011.
The highlight of my experience was seeing all the happy faces of the swimmers!
I found officiating at this competition challenging with the two new experiences combined, and felt very nervous during the build-up to the event.
However the friendly atmosphere and the fact that I was in a role that I am comfortable in enabled me to relax and thoroughly enjoy the competition.
The highlight of my experience was seeing all the happy faces of the swimmers! There were lots of smiles and praise and the atmosphere was great, especially for the relays.
Everyone was very enthusiastic and wanted to perform their best, which they all did.
My next step is to continue to officiate at various disability galas and hopefully complete a disability officiating qualification.
Similarly I am looking into officiating at Masters competitions where again I would like to complete a Masters officiating qualification.
I will also be officiating at the Sainsbury’s Schools Games in Manchester 3-6 September 2015, so I might see you there!
P.S. Read my last blog to find out how I first got involved in volunteering!