Pen Portrait – Race Officiator Andrzej Warhaftig

Ahead of the Hatch-end and harrow triathlon on the 12th May 2019, we asked Race Officiator Andrzej Warhaftig to tell us his triathlon experiences.

I am looking forward to returning to the Hatch End Triathlon to officiate on the 12th May 2019, as I was the official at the very first Hatch End events.

My involvement in triathlon began in the early 1980s and I have competed in many events over every distance up to and including Ironman, as well as representing Great Britain at Age Group levels. The latter including the world long distance championships taking place in Nice. In 1986, along with Dave Wardle and 2 others I started Hillingdon Triathlon Club, and shortly after that formed the London Region of British Triathlon along with John Lunt (organiser of the 2012 Olympic triathlon), serving as treasurer – and remaining involved to this day. Some years ago I was an elected director of British Triathlon, and my role was as treasurer when we received our first ever Olympic grant, which was transformative for the sport. Recognition of my many activities in the sport came in 2015 when I was voted Regional Volunteer of the year, England Triathlon Volunteer of the Year and British Triathlon Volunteer of the year.

On the officiating side, we were originally called referees, and we previously used to have to sanction (approve) events, which is now undertaken by the race organisers as a risk assessment. Being one of the first referees I used to train others seeking accreditation, and also served on the British Triathlon Rules and Technical Committee. As a National Official I have supervised events from very small ones up national championships, including (for example) the Windsor Triathlon on a number of occasions.

I always enjoy being involved in small low key novice events, where I see my role as to helping competitors achieving their goals and finishing with a smile – especially the novices and the tristars.

What I like most about the Hatch End and Harrow triathlon is the whole atmosphere of the event and the way that everyone is so supportive and encouraging to one another – competitors, officials, volunteers/marshals and families. That makes for a fantastic race, and especially so for the children who compete in a completely safe environment.