Andy Law has been one of our stalwart Officials for many years, bringing a combination of expertise and experience to his role helping make our sport happen.
That commitment was recognised this year at our 4J Studios Annual Awards when the Dundee Hawkhill Harriers member was named winner of our Raymond Hutcheson Trophy for Services to Officiating.
We asked Andy to reflect on his journey as an Official and why he thinks others would enjoy taking the same path . . .
We understand you have been in athletics more than 50 years? Please give us some background?
I started running when I was in Greenock High School in the late 1960s, winning the Renfrewshire Schools Cross Country Championship.
This gave me confidence to give the sport a go and I joined Glenpark Harriers. I later began a career in the RAF and soon represented them in cross country and on the road whilst competing locally for Cambridge and Coleridge.
Eventually I moved up in distance, running 2:25:31 for a marathon. After a few mountain races, including Ben Nevis and Pikes Peak in Colorado, I started having knee problems which curtailed and eventually ended my running career.
In 1990 I was posted to RAF Kinloss in Moray. My son was showing a lot of promise so we joined Inverness Harriers where my officiating eventually took off.
Every cloud has a silver lining and without my injury I would not have had such a successful officiating career, the highlights of which include the World Cross Country in Edinburgh, World IPC in New Zealand, London 2012 and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow – where I was delighted to be part of the Technical Team.
How did you move into becoming an Official?
I was coaching the boys at Inverness Harriers and got roped into helping at League meetings, initially as a Field Judge.
I moved onto timekeeping before settling down on Track. I was happy to do whatever was needed at the time. I was hooked, so ‘Thank You, Inverness Harriers’.
Why do you do it and why do you think others would enjoy it?
After I was forced to give up running, I found something I really enjoyed.
Apart from paying back for all the help I had received as an athlete, it is very satisfying to know you are helping athletes of all ages.
It is also a great way of keeping in touch with your friends in the sport. I enjoy the variety of being multi-disciplined. There is always something new to learn.
Scottish Officials have been on the world stage in recent years at big events – what are the factors, individually and collectively, that have helped make that happen?
We are lucky in Scotland that all our Officials from the length and breadth of the country can meet up at championships, conferences and our excellent training days where we can share ideas and experiences and learn from each other.
Good mentoring by our experienced Officials also plays a major part.
We’re all missing athletics events in Covid-19 – what would you say to athletes and fellow Officials?
The 4J Studios National Open series proved that by following strict guidelines, meetings could be carried out in a safe environment.
Hopefully we will be able to hold the Indoor series at the Emirates.
It will be a different challenge but I’m certain that if we all follow the guidelines at that time we will all enjoy another safe series of events, so come along and I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as everyone enjoyed Meadowmill and Aberdeen.
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