Along with the announcement of a strong Irish team for next week’s European Athletics U23 Championships in Tampere, Finland is the very welcome news that Ireland’s John Cronin (Tullamore Harriers) has been appointed as the Technical Delegate by the European Athletics Association.
Born in Donegal, Cronin has been a permanent fixture around athletics events in Ireland for many years always willing to help the athlete or his fellow official in any capacity.
A former Donegal County Novice Cross Country Champion in 1976, he subsequently went on to win National BLOE and Leinster Senior 800m titles, but it was in the role of officiating that he has really made a huge mark on the sport.
John fondly recalls how he and a number of friends decided to go to the International Grand Prix in Gateshead one summer in the late 70s when they were approached by a local official and asked to fulfil the role of umpire for the event, an opportunity the young Irish lads warmly embraced.
It was at this event where the seeds of his love of officiating were sewn and he remembers seeing a “young slip of a lad” named Sebastian Coe making one of his very early international breakthroughs at the meeting.
A graduate of UCG, he began working as a Technical Official in 1985 and was later elected to the last ever BLE Management Committee in 1998 and is currently the Leinster representative on the Athletics Ireland Board.
He was nominated by Athletics Ireland in 2005 to attend the European International Technical Official (ATO) Examinations in Cologne which he passed with flying colours and he repeated the feat in Birmingham in 2009 and only just missed out by one place to be put forward to take the IAAF International Technical Official (ITO) exams.
A vastly experienced National and International Technical Official, he was Chief Recorder at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in 2002, Referee at the European Cross Country Championships in 2009 and Chief ATO at the European Team Championships in 2010 and the European Junior Championships in 2011.
He is currently a very active Chairman of his club Tullamore Harriers, the AAI Technical Committee and the lead Tutor for Athletics Ireland Technical Officials and recently undertook the sizeable challenge of Competition Director for the European Team Championships in Dublin which received widespread praise from the European Athletics Technical staff.
A quiet, unassuming, and always very helpful gentleman, the President, Board and all his fellow officials wish him the best of luck in his role in Tampere.
The Role of the Technical Delegate:
The Technical Delegate is the most senior official at any event and among the duties John will have to fulfil for the event are the following:
• Ensure that all technical arrangements are in complete conformity with IAAF Technical Rules,
• Submit proposals for the timetable of events,
• Submit proposals for the entry standards,
• Submit proposals for implements to be used,
• Determine the qualifying standards for the field events,
• Determine the basis on which preliminary rounds shall be arranged for track events,
• Ensure that the Technical Regulations are issued,
• Control the entries and when appropriate reject them for technical reasons,
• Arrange the heats and the qualifying rounds and the groups for combined competitions,
• Submit written reports on the preparations for the competition,
•Co-operate with the Organisational Delegates
• In Competition under Rules 1.1(a), (b) and (c) and (f) the Technical Delegate shall chair the
Technical Meeting and shall brief the Technical Officials.