Meet Christine Dell. Involved in athletics since 1968, Christine is part of the athletics fabric in Victoria. Christine is today’s feature as part of the 2022 National Volunteer Week (NVW), celebrated from May 16 – 22, we are shining a light on just some of the wonderful volunteers that help run athletics in Victoria.
When and where did you first get involved with Athletics?
When Little Athletics first started in the Shire of Lilydale, around 1968. Mum joined us up to Mt Evelyn as training was done at Mt Evelyn Primary School which I attended. I would have been in Under 8. At that time there was no U13, 14 or 15 so I stopped after Under 12’s and went and played tennis on a Saturday morning. I got involved again when Brendan was 6, he was with Woori Yallock Little Aths. When we moved to Mooroolbark we joined S.P.J. Little Aths, Kieran and Liam also joined when old enough. Tony joined us during Cross Country and ran with Liam’s friend Jake (visually impaired). From there a friend introduced him to Fun Runs, someone suggested he join a club and we became involved in Senior Athletics with Richmond. This was about 2005. I officiated and competed for about three years until I was the only female at the club, then I decided to concentrate on officiating.
What do you like the most about officiating?
I like the company, the socialising, meeting and working with new people, helping younger’ officials reach their potential, watching the reactions of the athletes when they achieve a P.B. – it is not always about winning, although that is a nice feeling.
Who has been the best athlete you’ve ever witnessed when officiating?
Ned Weatherley – he enjoys the competitions and is always ready to help/give advice to the other athletes while still being able to focus on his own attempts, even if he is not throwing well. He does not let the bad throws disillusion him, he just goes out and gives the next trial his best effort. He always thanks all of the officials, including club helpers, not just the chief. When you have Ned in a competition you know you’re in for an enjoyable experience.
What are the 3 key things you bring to every meet?
- Container clipboard with an assortment of items in it eg: pens, pencils, mini spirit levels, stapler, stopwatch, spare paper, ruler, golf tee, eraser, sharpener, icy pole sticks, coloured tape,
- Rule book
- Cold and hot weather clothing
What is one book every person should read in their lifetime?
I just think everyone should read whatever genre they enjoy, for me, it’s Science Fantasy and Mystery novels. I also enjoy doing puzzles – anything to keep the brain ticking over.
What is your favourite event to officiate?
I enjoy all of the throws events, especially the Hammer.
If you had to explain the positives of officiating to someone, what are the top 3?
There are so many positives to officiating.
- Learning something new and being able to improve your skills by having a lot of available competitions to officiate at (local level (shield comp), state-level (championships), national level (National Championships junior and senior), international level (Zatopek, track classics, Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games)
- Meeting new people and
- Working as a team to run an event where athletes can compete for placings or just to improve their own results, health (exercise and fresh air).