Volunteers’ Week takes place each year from 1st-7th June and is an opportunity to celebrate volunteering in all its diversity.
UK Athletics is committed to providing equal opportunities to our volunteers and Volunteers’ Week gives us the chance to say thank you for the fantastic contribution our volunteers make towards making our athletics events amazing every year.
This year, Volunteers’ Week is about volunteering for all – celebrating the huge range of people who give their time in so many ways. To mark the occasion, we are showcasing some of our volunteers in athletics.
Name: Owen Dearman
Where are you based? Watford and York
What athletics events have you volunteered? I’m a qualified photo finish and track judge official (lvl2). I’ve worked at my local track and all across the country from Lee Valley in London, Alexander Stadium in Birmingham and EIS Sheffield.
What do you do aside from volunteering? I compete for my local team (Watford Harriers) and county in high jump and for the Harriers at their league meetings in 400m and the like. Outside of athletics, I play floorball (a form of indoor hockey, best described as ice hockey without the ice!) for the University of York while studying English Language and Linguistics.
Who or what inspired you to become a volunteer in athletics? I first came to athletics when I was 9 or 10 years old after my sister came second in her Year 7 school cross country. It took a while for me to find what events I enjoyed competing at and from about 12, I took an interest in the officiating side. Every 2 weeks in the summer, Watford Harriers puts on Open Graded Meetings and I started watching and shadowing the photo finish judges as they worked. They are some of the best in the country and took the time to show me how it all worked and my interest piqued from there.
What do you most like about being an athletics volunteer? The thing I like the most is seeing this other side of athletics which allows me to appreciate how much time and effort goes into each and every meeting which I would never consider as an athlete. There is a great community around volunteering and officiating in athletics and I’ve met some brilliant, inspiring people who are great at what they do.
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