View From Both Sides
Dominic Ellis' Blog
The past week and a half has been quite busy for such a late stage in the season. The final weekend in August brought the Tartan Games, which started for me back in July when I received a phone call asking to be referee. This was an opportunity to show if I’m ready to be refereeing meetings. As a referee most of the magic happens in the week before, duty sheets written and briefings prepared. Even with all the preparations I was still in the stadium at 8:30 walking the track, checking hurdles, setting up the breakline. By the first event I was already knackered. It was a fantastic experience as referee which was only made better with a top class team.
The following Thursday I packed my bags for the final time this season to go to the UK Schools Games in Loughborough. I travelled down with one of the field judges so the 3 hour drive down didn't have a dull moment. Although we missed the accreditation and uniform cut off and would have to wait until the morning we were in high spirits and went off for something to eat and were joined by one of the north east's timekeepers. Once we had eaten we did what most officials did when they stop in a hotel: went to the bar. The toby carvery was filled with quizers or officials. After a couple (and only a couple!) of drinks we went back to the student digs (which I’m told were luxury) and went our separate ways for the night. I woke up the next morning on about 2 hours sleep had a shower and went back to toby carvery for breakfast. I think I speak for most of the officials when I say I was shocked to see yorkshire puddings out alongside more traditional breakfast items. This was definitely the most bizarre experience I’ve had as an official eating yorkshire puddings alongside my bacon and eggs. Unfortunately that was the only notable thing that happened, There wasn't a huge amount of athlete competing which meant there wasn't anything particularly taxing on the track.
Moving swiftly on to one of my favourite events of the season the September relays. For anyone that knows me well, I’ve earned a bit of a reputation with the red flags around the north east. The relays would not be any different! I’d been partnered up with another relentless track judge, and given change over three to start with. We made our way to the change over thick as thieves, and then the fun begun. The first race started the trend with 2 of the changeovers showing red flags. I’d been given a radio for the changeover and it just seemed to be queue waiting to speak to the referee. This continued for most of the evening as we moved around the track. Overall it's still one of the events I enjoy the most both as an athlete when I’ve competed in them in the past and as a track judge.
The only meeting left of the outdoor season now is the Pentathlon including the British Masters 10,000m championships. It will be bitter sweet for me as it’s my last meeting in the North East before I move to Manchester at the end of the month to fulfill my dream of working on the railways!
I’m Dominic Ellis, I’m 17 and a proud member of Houghton Harriers. I have been involved in athletics for 6 years, though, I had a spell of not competing until I moved to Houghton 2 years ago. My athletics involvement comprises of being a competing athlete, UKA Technical official and an athletics leader. I’ve settled on being a mediocre 400m runner and a discus thrower, after trying every event except for hurdles and pole vault. I became an official just over a year ago, and have absolutely loved it. I am now a level 2 track judge and the youngest official in the North East region. Over the past year I have been given some excellent opportunities such as English Schools and the British Indoor Team Trials. I have also have been helping out with our Under 11 group at Houghton for around 18 months once a week, which is never dull. I’m now sharing my experiences in athletics for all to see