The Continental Technical Official (CTO) course is the fourth step on the five stage Technical Official Pathway and for Richard Tarrega it is something he never envisioned doing when he first started.
Technical Officials play an integral role in the success and safety of triathlon events week in week out. They help to provide positive race experiences for competitors, ensuring races are fair and educating them on the rules of the sport.
Richard has been officiating for over a decade and it is this commitment to the sport and his personal development as an official that has led to him being selected to take the CTO course.
“Like many people starting out in the sport I didn’t know too much about officiating, however when our university triathlon club needed an Official I was ‘volunteered’ to take the Local Technical Official (LTO) course,” said Richard.
“I initially only intended to officiate at our university club event once a year, however I’m still involved 12 years on because it is such a rewarding way to be involved in the sport.”
He commented: “You get the best seat in the house to witness the racing action, and I’ve learned a lot of skills along the way to improve my officiating that I can transfer to my day job.”
Officiating in Britain starts at the LTO level and, over a number of years, officials can progress up the domestic pathway (through to Regional and National Technical Official) where they are able to officiate at larger domestic events and Championships.
On completion of the CTO course, Richard and the seven other British Technical Officials taking the course will be able to officiate at European and World Championships in senior officiating roles.
“I’ve had the chance to be part of some great events already, and it’s really fascinating to see all the work that goes in behind the scene,” he added. “Taking the course will enable me to have more responsibility at top events and I’m excited to take on these more senior roles.
“I’d love to officiate at the Olympic, Paralympic or Commonwealth Games, and although these opportunities are limited, I’m only 32 so have plenty of time to get there.”
British Triathlon are hosting course having previously held one in 2015. Attendees from Denmark, Ireland and Norway will attend the course alongside the Brits.
Officiating takes place throughout the year at events of all different sizes, and Richard is keen to see more people get involved in triathlon officiating.
“I think that all of us should volunteer a few times a year to give back to the sport, and by taking the LTO course you can support local events and get involved in triathlon in a totally different way,” he concluded.
To start your officiating journey and help others to take part in safe and fair events, sign up to a Local Technical Official course today. Courses will take place in early 2020 and bookings are now open.