To say athletics in Scotland is well-served by our hard-working and dedicated Officials would be something of an under-statement.
In truth, we’re extremely fortunate to be supported by many individuals who would fall perfectly into the #peoplemakeathletics series we regularly run in PB magazine.
A team of 30 or so Officials helped deliver Glasgow 2019 for European Athletics at the Emirates Arena and one of them was Kelly Bissett, later to receive the UK Athletics Young Official of the Year award.
In the new edition of PB magazine, which is being distributed over to 14,000 scottishathletics members over the next few days, we turned to spotlight on Kelly as well as Fife AC stalwart, Ron Morrison, who has won the UK Athletics Endurance Official of the Year award.
‘Kelly joined Falkirk Victoria Harriers as an U11 athlete,’ recalled Harry Baird, Club Together Officer with Falkirk Vics, in an article for PB magazine.
‘Like may at that age her main interest was 800m and Cross Country. However, a quick look at her participation record shows that over the years she tried no fewer than 17 different events ranging from Triple Jump to 10K!
‘Some of these events were to fill team gaps to ensure her club got valuable points so maybe there were early signs that she could contribute to a team effort.
‘As she progressed, Kelly showed an interest in volunteering with Falkirk Vics and Forth Valley Flyers. She has dabbled a bit in coaching and discovered she has a rapport with the younger kids and any athlete with a disability.
‘Nonetheless, her main interest was in Officiating where she started out with the track team then found her niche with the Start team.
‘As a ‘newbie’ she was often too shy to ask for a lift to meetings and often used public transport to reach venues! When Falkirk Vics introduced a Young Volunteer of the Year annual award, Kelly was the first recipient – a very easy choice!
‘Kelly freely admits that the experience gained from volunteering has helped her to develop personally, increased her confidence and provided the qualifications that have enhanced her CV.
‘She is currently at college doing an Access to Physiotherapy course and all at Falkirk Vics and Forth Valley Flyers wish her well for her future endeavours.’
Elsewhere in the new edition of PB, we look at what’s happening around our clubs with a focus on Teviotdale Harriers, Inverness Harriers and Centenary celebrations at Dumbarton AAC.
There are also interviews with Para duo Maria Lyle and Ross Paterson.
And hill runner Andy Douglas explains why cross country runners can make a switch to the mountains.