Learning the rules of relay takeovers is a key element for Officials doing their Level 1 training, but we don’t get many chances to see relays in action. On Saturday 26th November, COSC hosted a relay seminar to hone the skills of our officials in relay takeovers and get some all-important competencies signed off.
A special thanks to Referee Karen Underwood for running the session, to Coach David and the AGS1 swimmers for letting us practice with them, and to some of COSC’s J2 qualified officials for volunteering time on a Saturday morning to mentor the trainees.
Alongside COSC trainees, we also welcomed trainees from other local clubs: Kidlington & Gosford Swimming Club, Wantage White Horses Swimming and Banbury. It was lovely to see our friends in white from other clubs and to help build up the cohort of trained officials across the County.
Seven trainees attended the seminar and observed 24 takeovers of free style and medley. It was intense and long, but the swimmers were really patient and willing to practice with us. Some even agreed to deliberately mess up a few take-overs to let us see what a foul take-off looks like!
Everyone that you see in white at a swimming competition is a volunteer; most knew almost nothing about swimming when they started training. Becoming an official requires training – you have to do on-line courses and poolside practical assessments - but you get amazing support from fellow volunteers and we are a really friendly bunch!
As one trainee put it: “swimming competitions can be hot and boring when you are just sitting in the stands watching. But as an official you learn about the rules of swimming, and you have to focus. The time passes so much faster!”
We urgently need more officials. The more officials we have, the fewer sessions each person has to do, which means we can all get to watch our own swimmers compete from time to time.
Maco, the COSC Officials Coordinator, is really happy to talk to anyone who is interested in becoming an officials: [email protected]