2019 has been a huge year for all members of the BMXA community from riders, coaches, teams and of course… officials!
Riders have reached for their respective finish lines and achieved impressive accolades in 2019. But joining them on the high-fliers list are the dedicated volunteers who are finding their own finish lines in the world of officiating.
There are nearly 1500 officials in Australia ranging from club, to state, to national, and of course, the ENC. Among them are Alex, Nigel, Ralphie and Libby from the Satellite City BMX Club who achieved their state/territory officiating accreditation.
Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Opie is a proud mum and didn’t want to sit and do nothing trackside while her children had all the fun. So, she put her hand up to help run the events and loves every minute of it.
“My kids ride, and I just like to give back a bit,” Libby said.
The recent course she attended was insightful and encouraging on many levels for Libby, above all else was the smooth running and ease of the event.
“Yeah it was really easy,” Libby continued.
“It didn’t take too much time and it was a really friendly and fun affair. The course didn’t take too much time and makes the day go fast.
“I’d definitely give it a go if you’re thinking of putting your hand up. It’s great to be involved instead of sitting trackside and the more we have, the less others have to put in.”
While there have been many courses this year around Australia, the NSW officiating coordinator Ian Pitstock is revelling in the success of his state and is excited for the future of the sport and its volunteers.
“BMXNSW had a major focus this year on having a zero tolerance to abuse to all individuals in the sport,” Pitstock said.
“In particular was the abuse towards the officials who would be copping comments from angered and frustrated parents and riders.
“In doing so, events were a much nicer environment for officials and much more interest flowed for people to sign up.”
With the intention of accrediting more officials so that clubs could be better represented, Pitstock held his state officiating course during the BMXNSW state series round at Southlake/Illawarra and it was a stand-out.
Promoted and encouraged, 17 officials put their hands up and attended the course, including BMXA’s national coaching manager Luke Madill.
“The new course is structured to encourage good discussions within the group,” Pitstock continued.
“Even riders who attended were totally gob smacked by the rules and I think it’s important for them to understand why the rules are there.
“The course was realty positive and the best one I’ve been involved with. The process of organising it was great, and it was very streamlined.”
Pitstock is happy with how the course is run, but there is an overarching rule that is well known and encouraged.
“We go through the basics first and then we discuss it so people get an understanding,” Pitstock said.
“The best day you can have as an official is to be hardly ever noticed, it’s part and parcel of the job.”
If you want to take the plunge as an official, please take a look at our page on the website and begin your career now! – HERE