Margaret Werrett: a role model for officials | 08.02.2012
|Margaret Werrett of Great Britain receives the 2011 European
Athletics Women's Leadership Award from the UKA Chief Executive
Niels de Vos.
In recognition of both her accomplishments and qualities, UK Athletics selected Margaret for a 2011 European Athletics Women’s Leadership Award.
“Margaret’s award is thoroughly deserved,” says Cherry Alexander of UK Athletics. “She is highly professional and well-respected, and is always willing, making herself available for events whenever she is called upon.”
“Although it is challenging to stand alone on the starter’s podium and stay in control of nerves, Margaret is absolutely focused on the athletes on the line, ensuring they are treated with respect and fairness, and get the best possible start. But just as important, she is friendly, approachable and popular … an invaluable member of the family of technical officials.”
|Margaret Werrett has risen through the ranks of
competition officials to become an international
starter and marksman.
She served as a marksman at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002, a call room steward at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham in 2003, and a starter at the European Indoor Championships in Birmingham in 2007.
One of the achievements of which she is most proud is having been one of only two non-Greek starters at the World Special Olympics in Athens in 2011.
Currently, Margaret is preparing to act as a starter at this summer’s Olympics and Paralympics in London and she hopes to officiate at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the city of her birth.
Known as someone who is always ready to advise and help fellow officials, she has shared her knowledge and experience by delivering courses and mentoring up-and-coming starters.
But her dedication to athletics and passion for learning do not stop there, as she ready to become involved in UKA’s Women in World Athletics Leadership Initiative, which seeks to increase the competence of dozens of women officials from around the world in the lead-up to the 2017 IAAF World Championships in Athletics in London.
Inspired by a teacher
Margaret was inspired at an early age by her school Physical Education teacher, Charlie Meldrum, who was also the Chief Starter for Scotland. He sparked her ambition to become the first female Scottish starter and then the first female Scottish chief starter, both of which she achieved.
“Charile was a role model for me in school, in life and in athletics,” says Margaret.
|Always willing to share her knowledge and
experience by delivering courses and mentoring
up-and-coming starters. (Photo by Mark Shearman)
“Once I qualified, the motivation was to become the best starter I could be. To maintain the level I currently work at there can be no complacency and the desire to continue to learn is still there.”
Throughout the athletics community Margaret is known as someone who has dedicated many hours, often at weekends, to the sport: in 2011 she worked as an official at 80 percent of UK Athletics’ events.
When she heard about being chosen for the Women’s Leadership Award, Margaret says she was “speechless.”
But she adds: “Having had time to think about it, I am delighted that women in starting, still a male-dominated officiating discipline, have been recognised. I hope I can continue to be both a role model and a mentor for other women and that they, too, will strive for excellence and perhaps one day be a future recipient of this or other awards.”
When not pursing her passion for all things athletics, Margaret teaches chemistry as Senior Mistress at Bromsgrove School in Worcester, UK, and cheers on her daughter Gemma, a Scottish International Hurdler.
The aim of the European Athletics Women’s Leadership Awards is to recognise the behind the scenes work and accomplishments have helped make the winners role models for other women in athletics. Coaching young athletes, officiating, setting up and managing club . . . their achievements are as varied as the individuals themselves.
In 2011, 31 women were selected for the award by their national athletics federation. For more information on the awards click here.
- With special thanks to Liz Wilson