2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games - A Technical Official Review

Team Kiwi at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Photo courtesy of Ross Capill Photo
Published Date: 07 May, 2018

Well done to the New Zealand Technical Official representatives at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, and to Ross Capill and Claire Hannan for sharing your experiences and images with the Triathlon Community.


The below article would not have been possible without their help.


Technical Delegate Shanelle Barrett from Taupo led the 2018 Commonwealth Games Triathlon. Shanelle did an absolute amazing job in this role, which has seen her working in this volunteer role for the past two years planning and ensuring that this event is safe and fair, as well as ensuring that all the nuisances that come with being a Commonwealth Games is adhered too.


Not only was New Zealand represented as the Technical Delegate for the event, there were also four other top class kiwi Technical Officials within the wider team of 36 Officials from Commonwealth Countries – although we could’ve had six officials there, with an Malaysian Official that wanted to be a kiwi as well!


Juliet Fahey, Timaru, worked with athlete registration, athlete lounge and lineup, Ross Capill, Wellington, was looking after the swim course with a large and capable surf life-saving team, Tony Sangster, Auckland, was on the Cycle course on the back of the motorbike and Claire Hannan, Wellington, worked in the Transition zone, swim start and Finish Tape.


Officials arrived at the venue on Easter Sunday, this allowed them to meet other officials, work out who they would be bunking with and to collect their all-important uniforms. Some had it easier than others to get all their uniform allocation, while some had quite a mismatch on what they requested versus what they were handed; Ross Capill shared his experience that “they tried to give me 7XL!  I didn’t know sizes went that high, I’m a big bloke I know but the pants would have fitted about one and a half of me.”


The one item that the officials had to personally supply – White shoes, while they went on white, by day 9 this was not so much the case.


The days leading up to the both race days were filled with athlete course familiarizations, athlete briefings including pontoon draws, setting up preparation for race days and mock test events to check that everything flowed as planned.


Working alongside the 36 Officials there was a large team of volunteers from all over Australia plus some internationals, including NZ who also had self-funded to work and contribute to the event.  Everyone worked well together to contribute to successful Elite, Para and Mixed relay events, which included some early starts, long days, heat and rain.


Claire Hannan highlighted this in saying “just before the Elite men’s start, it poured down, officials on the start had to march out to the pontoon in driving rain that soaked us to the skin, coupled with high winds made for an interesting walk to the start line on a floating platform.” Whatever the weather was “we had it all”.


The races themselves went smoothly, with security been taken seriously, the swim course alone had a formidable array of police and navy craft securing an exclusion zone around it. Ross Capill said, “I felt a bit sorry for the poor fisherman in a 10-foot tinny who had a navy tactical response boat pull up alongside after he innocently strayed into our zone.”

Overall the Triathlon event at the Commonwealth Games is best summed up by Claire Hannan; “The Commonwealth games are known as the “friendly games” which allowed athletes from some countries to race in triathlon events alongside more seasoned athletes, which all raced with pride as they represented their countries. It was a great experience to be part of and fantastic to interact with the athletes, coaches, volunteers, organizers and the international Technical Official team.”


Thanks again Ross and Claire for your stories, see below for more images from the games.