Cathi Davey is a dedicated Technical Official (TO), a rock behind the scenes in the Capital Sports Performance club and well known in the Wellington and wider NZ triathlon community. She is part of the Wellington crew heading out to the Snowy Mountains Cross Tri in November as a TO with the bonus of getting to see son Christian race too. I caught up with Cathi to get the lowdown on the TO perspective – as athletes we don’t always realise how much hard work and volunteer effort goes into making events so well run, to all the TOs out there in NZ, thanks heaps for all your hard work and making our races so awesome.
RS: What are you looking forward about going to the Snowy Mountains?
CD: Being able to work at another ITU world champs but with having Christian [Davey] racing also, two opportunities in one. Have not worked at an off road race before.
RS: What inspired you into TO-ing and what do you like about it?
CD: Being at races initially with Lachlan [Davey] racing and getting too stressed watching him and Gene [McNaught of Capital Sports Performance] telling me to get away – therefore started being a TO, had been marshalling for Daryl [founder of Scorching Triathlons] and Splash and Dashes [Wellington Swim/Run series] for a number of years previously. I love the involvement in the sport without being an athlete and remaining be involved in the boys’ lives so still part of the triathlon community. Have made some amazing friends and colleagues world wide from working at local and international events. Never intended initially to take the TO’ing so far but have just grown over the years proceeding through the ITU pathway.
RS: What’s been your approach to any challenges you’ve faced along the way? Any tips or tricks for fitting everything in?
CD: I am a born organiser! Always ask a busy person to do things right!
RS: Any thoughts or insights from the TO experience you would like to share?
CD: As already said, being part of the triathlon community, getting to know other TOs and athletes up and down the country and internationally is amazing. Most difficult part about being a TO and keeping the accreditation to remain an international TO is self-funding to events and maintaining these costs sometimes at the expense of the boys which I feel hugely guilty about. There are exams and courses to attend as a national TO and then international levels to work at ITU level. I am now an international level 2 TO. The exams are hard work to fit in especially when working full time.
Likewise to travel to events and work at events, often as TD (putting the race together) is 6–8 weeks prior to an event, reports to fill out, is very time consuming and quite a juggle with working full time as well. The responsibilities being a RR (race referee) are serious but really love the work, the challenges and bringing an event together that is safe and fair for all.
It is very inspiring working at paratriathlete races, their commitment, their fitness and determination but also their goodwill to each other is an amazing experience that I have been lucky enough to be involved with now a number of times.
RS: Anything else you’d like to share or mention?
CD: Getting to work at ITU level at grand finals, world cups and WTS [World Triathlon Series] ]and to work beside these athletes that we all watch on tv racing is truly an amazing experience.
One of my very early races working at a half ironman was seeing a man in the nude getting changed, started to go over to caution him to cover himself up, he then started ‘oiling his bits’ – I very quickly turned away and ignored the situation !
I have worked at races in near snow, pouring rain, in gumboots in puddles, hours on back of motorbikes, in the heat, 10 – 12 hr days, at a race 5 am to set up, etc but love the challenge, the experience, the support from other TOs, the appreciation from the athletes and the involvement. I can’t imagine my life not being involved.
I have travelled to race in Sydney, Beijing, Tahiti, Edmonton, Penrith, Adelaide, Gold Coast, up and down the country and most of these with my fellow TO buddy, Claire Hannan which makes for great times away. Within NZ, work at Oceania, world cup, national series, local Scorching events, Splash and Dashes, Xterra.
Kyle [Davey] and Clare [Davey] are also TOs and as a family we are known for travelling up and down the country with 5 of us, 3 bikes and 2 lots of racing gear in our Honda fit!