Young Official Alex Bennett tells us what it was like to Officiate at the 2011 UK School Games.
Club: Leicester Penguins
Officiating qualification: Judge Level 2
When did you first start officiating? – I was 15 years old when I started officiating; I have been a member of Leicester Penguins for quite a few years now though but as a swimmer first.
Why did you first start officiating? – Once I had stopped swimming competitively and my brother took up swimming, I still wanted to remain involved and wanted to help out, so I looked at becoming a swimming official.
What do you enjoy most about officiating? – I enjoy helping to run the galas. I like being a spectator but it is even better to be involved on poolside rather than watching from the stands.
What events do you officiate at? – I have officiated at a number of events regionally and locally. I mainly help out at open meets or club galas.
Why would you recommend officiating to other young people? – Being an official means that you are out and about doing something fun. It can open doors for you and lead to exciting places. Being an official has improved on a lot of my personal skills as well. For example it really improves your ability to work as a team and communicate with people of all ages. Plus I have met some amazing people along the way.
Alex attended his first National event the Sainsbury’s UK School Games in September. Read on to find out how Alex found the experience.
“The 2011 Sainsbury’s UK School Games in Sheffield was an event I will note as a highlight of my life. It offered an experience close to that of a large international competition with the athletes and the officials from all sports together in their own separate villages. Both the swimming competition and all other events were of high class and a joy to be a part of.
I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that the UK School Games involved so many young officials and volunteers across all sports which led there to be a very relaxed and informal atmosphere in the evening where we all socialised and bonded as a group of young people. This in turn helped us to work well on the poolside as officials. I personally really enjoyed the UK School Games as from it I have met some wonderful people, it was a fantastic experience.”