Long serving South Australian official and photo-finish timing master Ian Boswell has been honoured with Life Governorship by Athletics Australia. "Bozzie" joins a select group as an Athletics Australia Life Governor. Athletics South Australia acknowledges the enormous contribution that Ian has made to athletics and congratulate him on being awarded this prestigious honour.
IAN BOSWELL (SA)
Ian Boswell began his involvement in the sport as an athlete initially in 1964 until he retired competitively in 1980. During that time he held the school boys 100m record from 1969 until 2004. Ian also won national medals over 100m and 200m in junior and open championships between 1970 and 1976.
First serving on the Board of Athletics SA from 1983 until 1987, Boswell was a member to the competition committee and development programs through until 1985. From 1981 until 1985, Boswell acted as a state selector and managed several state teams.
As the Technical Manager for Athletics SA, and later as a technical committee member, Boswell was instrumental in designing and manufacturing the solid pole vault cover, remodeled the judges stands to increase seating capacity, organised and assisted sub-contractors with various repair projects and repairs to throwing areas, cages and circles, as well as implementing an intercom phone system.
In 1987, while a Board member of Athletics SA, Ian was delegated to a tour of track surfaces in Germany and England to assess the Regupol track surface. From this, he acted as Athletics SA’s quality officer for the Olympic Sportsfield track upgrade and subsequently performed numerous track surface repairs and extended the long jump run up (base and track surface) at Olympic Sportsfield.
In 1981 Ian had introduced the ‘wet’ film system of photo finish at Olympic Sportsfield, a system which continued until the change in 1992/93 to the current computer based digital system. Ian was responsible for the various photo finish systems for both Athletics SA and Athletics Australia, and recommended to Athletics Australia the various upgrades of their systems, including the introduction of camera viewfinders and dedicated computers.
When Athletics SA moved from Kensington to Santos Stadium at Mile End, Ian became the Facility Manager and as such filled a liaison role to oversee the installation of the communication system and data cabling of the stadium.
In 1985 Ian was appointed the chief photo finish judge at the World Cup in Canberra, managing a team of 17 and developing the ‘electronic timing’ section of the technical manual, which became the basis for a great deal of similar future documentation.
In South Australia, Ian adapted the early computer system of photo finish at Athletics SA to the Hy-Tek Meet Manager program, which enabled the production of results, statistics and rankings. He worked closely with Peter Hamilton, Khan Sharp and Grant McKay to present the US based owners of the program to make many adaptations to suit Australian competition practices.
Ian was involved in the creation and management of the Athletics SA results system, which gives individual access to personal results and rankings and feeds into the AA rankings system. In recognition of his devotion to his home association, he was made a Life Member of Athletics SA.
In 1997, Ian was appointed to the IAAF International Panel of Photo Finish Judges, recognizing his significant skills in this regard. In this regard, he was the International Photo finish Judge at the 1999 World Indoor Championships and the 2000 Olympic Games.
Such is Ian’s reputation he was then engaged by Swiss Timing to join their professional team for Games and major events, leading to key roles at both the Athens and Beijing Olympic Games including the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and most recently worked at the Beijing Olympics.
Ian received the Australian Sports Medal in 2000, particularly noting his work as an international photo finish judge, was elected a Life Member of Athletics Australia in 2009 and received its Gold Award for 30 years’ service in 2011.
After each acknowledgement, his dedication and service has continued unabated.
Ian is an authority in the field of photo finish timing. He has selflessly dedicated more than 35 years of his life to ensuring that everyone from local recreational runners to Olympic champions have their times accurately recorded.
Above all he has been, and continues to be, an active and effective mentor to the next generation of photo finish judges both at state and national level, ensuring that Australia continues to deliver in this area of expertise way ahead of most other countries.
His willingness to teach and improve the skills of others has been exemplary. His patience in ensuring newcomers to roles and more experienced personnel confronting new equipment, have adequate time to develop whilst ensuring there is a plan B to guarantee results are still delivered has been of enormous value to the sport.
Ian’s capacity to solve technical issues under the pressure and urgency of competitions, high-level ones in particular, continues to make him a first choice appointment as a lead technical official. His insistence on accuracy of results, even if it means significant re-reads and re-publication is a measure of his personal integrity and value to athletics.
Ian’s enduring and continuing service to his sport at state, national and international level makes him well qualified for Athletics Australia Life Governorship.