Officials in Focus is our initiative to get some background information on a range of Officials accredited with Motorcycling Victoria. Done in a similar way to the Club Coach in Focus, we ask the questions and they tell us more about themselves.
First up is Sandra Siemensma who is a member of the Quad Riders Club of Victoria.
How long have you been an Official?
10 years this year.
What Level of Official are you currently?
What are the main roles you find yourself in when officiating? (e.g. Steward, Clerk of Course etc.)
Since I stepped down from Race Secretary (which is an incredibly rewarding position), I mainly assist with lap scoring at our MX rounds and I also officiate as Clerk of Course and assist with timing at all of our club enduros.
What disciplines do you usually officiate in and are you interested in working in other disciplines?
I only officiate at the Quads, as that’s the discipline my son competes in now.
What do you enjoy about officiating?
Bossing people around – just joking! I enjoy it mainly because I know that the Quads can be self sufficient. Being a small discipline that’s very important to us. If you concentrate on one discipline you can do it very well.
There would be many challenges as an Official, what is one challenge you’ve had to overcome as an Official?
I wouldn’t call them challenges, more like hiccups and they are usually not of any consequence to worry me. Most riders etc. know the rules and follow them accordingly. Over the years you get the odd parent who thinks their child is racing for sheep stations but they are few and far between. We find those type of parents don’t stay long, the Quad fraternity are all very nice people.
What has been one of your best experiences as an Official?
When I was Race Secretary, for each of our State Titles I would organise a “show bag” full of goodies for the Juniors. I loved it when they used to come up to me and say thank you, Juniors appreciate everything you do for them and at the end of the day they are the future of our sport. They should never be underestimated or put down, always encouraged and as an Official you can do that – either by giving them the thumbs up when they complete the event, a pat on the back and a “well done”, as well as cheering them at presentation.
Would you recommend becoming an Official to other people?
Most definitely! It’s always satisfying to know that you have played a part in putting an event on for club members. If club members don’t put in, there would be no races to attend and you can’t always leave it to other people. Volunteering is a very important part of our sport. Having said that, officiating doesn’t suit everyone and that’s fine too.