The official race starter for athletics at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has been sharing his tips and techniques with students in Gateshead.
Alan Bell from County Durham led the master class for students at Whickham School and Sports College.
The 61-year old showed the young people what it takes to be a chief starter at major sporting events, with the aim of encouraging more young officials in sport.
Mr Bell’s career as an athletics official began in 1976, during which time he has started more than 25,000 races, from local school competitions through to the 2011 World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
For the past decade, Mr Bell has worked for the Youth Sport Trust across a range of projects.
By developing training opportunities the Trust is aiming to get 5,000 more young people involved in officiating in sport this year.
Mr Bell is looking forward to the year ahead and the role that officials will be playing.
He said: "Every great sportsperson relies heavily on an army of officials and volunteers to make sporting events happen, which is why it is important that we raise their profile and encourage more young people to get involved.
"It is fantastic to be able to pass on some of my experiences of being an athletics official to these young people who may go on to play key roles as sports officials in the future.
“It is an extremely exciting time for me and I am proud to be playing such a pivotal role in some of the greatest sporting events in this country."
Alistair Conway, Leadership and Volunteering Co-ordinator at Whickham School, said: "We are absolutely thrilled that our students have the chance to meet and learn from the master.
“To learn all about what the chief starter of a race actually does and have the opportunity to work with Alan, will give these young people real insight that will help them become both better athletes and officials in the future."
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