This Saturday members of the Fleur-de-Lys track club spent the day at Centre Claude Robillard as volunteer officials for the track and field portion of the Jeux de Montréal. The Jeux de Montréal is an event that brings together kids from across the island of Montreal to play various sports while representing their neighbourhoods. Since I’ve moved to Montreal, I’ve had the pleasure of helping out at this event. Kids are funny. Some of them are really talented. Some of them are not. But for the most part, they were all good sports, and a good time was had by all!
Our job was to aid the certified Quebec officials in putting on the sprints, long jump, high jump and weight throw. When you participate in a meet as an athlete, it’s easy to gripe about the officials, because you only see them in the context of your event. When you are working the other side, you gain an appreciation for their perspective. This is not to say that I really gained any sympathy for track and field officials. It is a thankless job in the sense that coaches are constantly bothering you and complaining about things over which you have no control. I’ll probably complain less to officials now because it’s clear that if they cared about making things right, they would have made it right if they could. If they don’t care, and some don’t, then complaining doesn’t do any good.
We did our best to make sure that, as officials, we were friendly, professional and efficient. Considering that the sprints ran ahead of schedule, and nobody got run over in the relays, I’d say we did a good job.