By Michael Doran
In the Vicsport 2018 Victorian Sport Awards, Healesville’s Andy McGuire has been nominated as a finalist in the Official of the Year category. He is one of three finalists from the world of triathlon and sees his efforts as just putting something back into a sport that has given him so much pleasure over many years.
Listening to him talk it is clear that he has a strong ethic of being involved and giving back, something he said he learnt about when growing up. “My dad was in the army so I went to 25 different schools. Sport was a good way to get involved in the community and integrate in new places.”
He said when his two sons started playing sport in Healesville he got involved with their teams. “I enjoy and believe strongly in volunteering and I’ve tried to contribute at various levels in all sorts of sporting clubs in the district.
“I was a bit of a runner and tried triathlon and when my boys took up the sport I was their transport. Rather than just standing around watching them I thought I could be an official.
“I did a course around seven years ago and started officiating at the local triathlons around Melbourne. Since then I have gained my national and international accreditation and officiated in China and at the World Championships on the Gold Coast last year.
“At the World Championships we had 6000 athletes and 75 officials from 35 countries to run the seven races. At the local level races are all about the athletes and our role is to make sure the races are safe, run fairly and people have fun.
When asked about reaching the final four, he said he was surprised but really happy that his sport was getting recognition. “Now I have reached this level I am really keen on mentoring and fostering more officials to enter and stay in the sport.
“ For me the best part is the challenge of bringing together a group of officials and turning them into a successful team and supporting them to carry out their roles, that’s what I really enjoy.”
He also is involved with Paratriathletes and in February will be officiating at the International Paratriathlon World Cup in Tasmania. “We have big contingent of intellectually handicapped athletes so as officials we really look after them and make sure they have a good time.”