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Sydney Catholic Schools trains new generation of general sports officers

Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) has taken a proactive approach by training 22 General Sports officers. Photo: Unsplash
Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) has taken a proactive approach by training 22 General Sports officers. Photo: Unsplash

With diminishing numbers of athletics officials available to conduct schools athletics carnivals, Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) has taken a proactive approach by training 22 General Sports officers to conduct them.

Athletics carnivals are a key aspect of sport in schools and officials are essential to their smooth operation.

The initiative will ensure school events are conducted in compliance with the rules and regulations set by the International Athletics Federation.

The training was conducted by Barry Pecar, a seasoned athletics official with more than three decades of experience. Mr Pecar welcomed the enthusiasm and willingness shown by participants in learning the technicalities and intricacies of officiating athletics events.

He believes that the dedication of the newly trained officials will ensure quality experiences for the children who participate in the events.

The shortage of athletics officials has become a concern for schools and sporting organisations worldwide.

It became more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic as many officials retired or stepped back from their roles due to health concerns. The lack has even led to the cancellation or postponement of several sporting events, causing disappointment for athletes and spectators alike.

SCS’s initiative is a step towards addressing this challenge, with Mr Pecar saying he hoped it would serve as a model for other schools and organisations to follow.

He also hopes that engaging young people in officiating athletics events will help apprentice a new generation of officials who can take over when current officials retire or step down.

The training covered topics such as starting and finishing procedures, track and field events, and rules and regulations of athletics events. Participants were also taught about safety protocols and procedures to ensure that events are conducted as safe and securely as possible.

The success of the program is encouraging, with SCS planning to conduct similar programs in the future to ensure that the school athletics events are conducted consistently with international standards.

With the Brisbane Olympics scheduled for 2032, the need for trained officials will be even greater.

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