Athletics News

The move to electronic starting equipment – Eilidh shares her story

The move to electronic starting equipment – Eilidh shares her story

Friday 8th September 2023

Above: Electronic starting system in use at this year’s SUPERteams regional heat at Saughton Track, Edinburgh

The transition towards using electronic starting equipment continues across athletics in Scotland, with a range of benefits over the use of traditional start guns – there’s a cost saving for starting officials, and the move also aids in the recruitment of new officials, who no longer need a firearms licence.

There are also benefits for some athletes and spectators – for those who struggle with loud noises, traditional start guns can be incredibly difficult to tolerate. Below, young athlete Eilidh Scobbie shares with us her own experience, explaining how the use of start guns can in some cases prevent athletes from wanting to compete at all.

Scottish starts

Head of Competition for scottishathletics, Alasdair Love, says: ‘At present, scottishathletics has one full TESS (The Electronic Start System), which is used at our main championships, with another six basic entry level systems loaned out to starters in the East, West and North of Scotland. This allows its use at matches up and down the country.

‘In addition to our track systems, we also have developed an electronic start system for off track events with a slightly adjusted start signal – a longer sound rather than the crisp signal for track & field events. There are three of these systems with one in the East, North and West District areas.

‘In partnership with Aberdeen AAC, Shetland AAC, Cumbernauld AAC, Ayr Seaforth AAC and Nithsdale AC, we have also recently purchased a further five basic systems, which will be owned and operated by the clubs.

‘This will fill an identified gap when one of the custodians of the scottishathletics systems is not available. We have acted upon feedback from timekeeping officials around the flash, and have rolled out an improved starting actuator for all 13 systems over summer 2023.”

Eilidh’s story

Athletics is huge. I’m just one of millions who partakes in track, and I have grown to love it. But I have a problem which massively impacts my enjoyment of the sport, my ability to compete and how I feel about myself as a result of this. I am very sensitive to sudden loud noises.

This is something I have absolutely no control over and that I can’t change. I have lived with this my whole life.

Pictured: Eilidh loves to race

I started athletics in 2015 and competed for the first…

CLICK HERE to Read the Full Original Article at Scottish Athletics…