world record or gold medal decisions could rest on the shoulders of an Ilkeston teenager if his selection as a field judge for the 2012 London Olympics is confirmed.
But Aidan Smith, 17, says he’s not worried about making the call but he is nervous about the TV cameras and the world watching.
“I’m confident in what I do so that doesn’t bother me but the thought of the cameras and everything does make me nervous,” he said.
“It’s exciting as well though, being there and being part of it will be brilliant.”
Next year Aidan will travel to the Olympic Stadium for the final stages of selection but the Derby College student already has experience of judging at big events.
He spent July at the World Masters in Sacremento, California.
Officiating as a throw judge at the event where ex-Olympians and top athletes compete, Aidan, who is studying a BTEC National Diploma in sports and exercise science, worked alongside judges from across the world.
He said his experience as a Sports Ambassador for Erewash School Sport Partnership and his dad’s work as an athletics judge played a part in his selection.
“My work as an ambassador for the partnership did play a part in me being provisionally selected. It helped me with getting involved with organising and officiating at schools events which then led to me being invited to the UK School games and it evolved from there.
“I’ve judged at all different events, it’s great to see up-and-coming athletes and the level of competition.”
Rhian Lilley, Erewash School Sport Partnership development manager, said everyone at the partnership was proud of Aidan.
She added: “Aidan was always a great ambassador for Erewash School Sport Partnership and we are thrilled for him that he has been provisionally selected to officiate at the Olympics.
“He’s done really well to get this far and we are sure he will do a fantastic job.”
Aidan was formerly a Gold Ambassador for Erewash School Sport Partnership, which involved working with other young ambassadors to promote exercise to children in primary and secondary schools.
One of the events the group organised was a Mini-Olympics involving ten local primary schools.
He said: “On the day of the event all the young ambassadors, with the help of some other sports leaders, helped to set up and organise all the events.
“This project helped me to learn how to organise events and what needs to be considered. It widened my knowledge on leading, as we had to speak to the teams we were looking after and explain what was going to happen during the day.”
After this, Aidan, a former pupil at St John Houghton Catholic School in Kirk Hallam, was promoted to Platinum Ambassador.
He said: “I would highly recommend becoming an ambassador to all youngsters whether they enjoy sport or not. There are plenty of opportunities out there for anyone willing to get involved.
“Being an official is a great way to travel and meet so many and different interesting people.”