KINTORE Street School principal Marg Chamberlain won NT Official of the Year Award at the NT Sports Awards last week for her contribution to swimming.
Chamberlain has officiated at many events across Australia and overseas and has a passion for para swimming.
She has been an official for more than 20 years and started when her son was swimming in Darwin.
“I started as a time keeper then judge of stroke and referee,” she said.
Her international calling started at Arafura games with first classification in para swimming.
“I was asked to attend as I have disability knowledge and swimming knowledge. I was hooked,” she said.
“Most of my officiating is done in support of disability swimming or athletics.”
Chamberlain then went on to the World Para Games in Argentina to act as a technical adviser for officials.
“At that time the International Paralympic Committee was looking to start training officials to work at Paralympic and World games and I was invited to assist in the development of the training courses,” she said.
“I became one of the first 10 international Paralympic officials and became involved in the development of training course in several incarnations and most recently I co-wrote the online World Paraswimming course with World Academy of Sport in Manchester.
“Which mixes all my loves of teaching, swimming, disability-ability and travel.”
Chamberlain has gone on to officiate at the Paralympics in Athens and Beijing and major competitions in America, Canada, UK, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Africa, South America, China and Iran over the past 12 years.
“I am a top level WPS Referee and JOS. I have also been Technical Director of IWAS (International Wheelchair sport) and INAS (Intellectual disability) Games in Russia and Thailand,” she said.
“I am also one of six educators and assessors for World Para swimming and in 2017 the highlight was going to Iran to facilitate an officials course for 17 men. Also in 2017 to Italy and Germany to recertify and to this year will complete a technical director qualification in Spain and officiate in Jakarta.
But while at home in Katherine, Chamberlain loves the Katherine Birthday Carnival and said it is the best event in the Northern Territory Swimming calendar.
“I love the under 8 swimmers, little ones just developing a love for swimming, the smiles as they get PBs – that is just as wonderful as any,” she said.
“I love meeting and training people all over the world with the same love for swimming.
“I love the para swimming for the amazing talent and dedication of these elite athletes.”
Chamberlain goes to any NT swimming events she can get to and will be going to Spain to officate in August and at the Cerabral Palsy Games in Indonesia in October.
“I am hoping to have a big involvement in getting Arafura games going. Paul Carter and I organised the Arafura games swimming the year it was cancelled with the threat of SARS and we both want to see it back on,” she said.
She was also president of the Nightcliff Swimming Club for two years.
“I have an involvement with school sport and have volunteered as an official for both swimming and athletics for the past 12 years and have been taking teams away each year,” she said.