UNESCO European Athletics Young Leaders Community


The Cogs Behind The Summer Of World Athletics... India Hollingworth

August 23, 2017

Interview with: India Hollingworth

How did your journey in athletics start and how did this change over time/to where you are today?

I started in athletics by competing as a club athlete when my friend wanted to join a club and wanted someone to go with. I then competed for 5 years with Chesterfield AC and City of Sheffield AC. I then got into officiating through my local school’s sport partnership who were running a level 1 course. I also began to officiate towards the end of my time competing. I then began to coach my old training group and go into my old secondary school and coach athletics there.

Why did you put yourself forward to be a part of the championships?

As officiating took priority as I had the goal of attending the World Championships. So I stopped competing all together to allow myself to concentrate on officiating and achieve my goal.

What did you do doing during these championships?

I was in the call room for the World Para Athletics Championship and then I was a Starter’s Assistant for the IAAF World Athletics Championships.
In the call room, my role was to help to check all athletes before they entered the field of play to compete. Making sure they had no banned items in their bags such as phones and smart watches. We also had to check for advertising that was over the size limit and that weren’t official sponsors for the championships. We were also responsible for checking the athlete’s vests and numbers and applying the hip numbers to the athletes.
I was then a starter’s assistant for the next championships in which I had to ensure all the athletes were in the correct lanes and were ready to race. They also had to be in their lanes ready for the TV cameras to do their line-up.
We ensured that all the water bottles were removed from the track prior to the start of the race. After the race, we had to the ensure that if there were any relay batons we had to collect them in and also ensure the athletes were off the track before the blocks for the next race could go on.

In one word, describe the atmosphere of the event.


What has been your highlight of the championships?

The highlight for me for the World Paras was just being able to interact with the athletes because all the athletes were really friendly and were all just so happy to be there.
The highlight for the World Championships was that I was sat next to the finish line as the 4x100m men crossed the line and to be right in the middle of the euphoria of that was just incredible and something I’ll never forget.

If you could say one thing to the other young leaders across the world that are involved in athletics what would it be?

Take everything you do as a learning moment, the good and the bad, as these make you better at what you do and will stop you from making the same mistakes again.

> back to news