Auchmuty Iain’s Olympic dream

A TEACHER at Auchmuty High School will have the eyes of the world on him at the Olympics this summer, yet he isn’t competing, reports KEVIN QUINN.

As well as a television audience of millions, Iain Hannah will also have around 15,000 fans watching him be an indoor volleyball line-judge in Earl’s Court, London.

Mr Hannah used to play the sport before a broken wrist forced him to stop playing.

The Geography teacher explained how he got involved in the world’s biggest sporting event: “The opportunity arose around three years ago when the Scottish volleyball Association sent a message round offering scorers and line-judges the opportunity to work at the Olympics in London.

“Since I’ve done line-judging on an ad-hoc basis before, I figured I’d try that.

“Over the past three years I’ve been to various national and international matches to develop and hone my skills and to help whittle me down from the 500 plus initial applicants to 45.

“It was October last year when I heard, it was fantastic when I opened the letter. There is 40 of us all together. I know some of the guys judging.”

Mr Hannah, who has told pupils about his big news, admitted to nerves creeping in as the event draws closer: “It will be a great experience. There is a bunch of us staying there just to see the Olympics, so to be part of it makes it all the more special.

“All the games will be live on TV or online, so the kids can see me. I have told a few of them, they are quite happy about it.

“It’s getting pretty close to the beginning. As it’s got closer to when I’m going I’m getting nervous.

“We did a test event last summer in front of 500 people and that was quite nervy. But this will be 15,000 a game. I will be doing a game a day, maybe two.

“It runs 28 July - 13 August, basically all the way through the Olympics.”

The Auchmuty teacher has been officiating big games in preparation for London: “I volunteer for the Edinburgh Jets, said Mr Hannah. I go down and do a couple of games with them and I also do internationals and European Championship games. You have to stay at a top level, it makes a difference.

“It’s like any sport really. The higher the level, the harder it is to referee. “The training has been on-going since I first applied for this around three years ago.”