Name: Ben Proctor
Occupation: 3rd Year Computing Science Student
“In my spare time I am a timekeeper at Scottish Cycling’s National Track league.”
What is a timekeeper?
A timekeeper acts as a back up to electronic timing in national events, or even smaller events too. So you aren’t the only timing going on! You have to measure the time it takes for riders to cross the line, this could be as simple as the first one across in a Scratch race, or in more complicated races you could be timing riders every lap. This gives you a comparable time so if there are any queries then you can definitely prove who won and who didn’t.
How did you get into timekeeping?
I got into timekeeping a couple of years ago after an injury because I couldn’t actually get on my bike. I felt like I had to do something so I didn’t become disinterested in the sport. I spotted some timekeeping training courses one day and I just turned up, three years later and I am still doing it!
What did you do in the training?
It was only a couple of hours on a Saturday, we did some practice sessions with the national squad so it was just a case of getting the practice in, understanding what it was you were doing and learning the different techniques.
How often are you a timekeeper?
When it is national season I could be working over the course of weekends as well as on a Wednesday night at National Track League. It is great, you get to speak to different people and you get to see faces of regular competitors that I wouldn’t normally see day to day. And of course, you get to watch bike races as well so it is fun all round!
I want to be a timekeeper, where should I start?
National Track League is a good place to start; you get a lot of opportunities and depending on the competition that night, a lot of races to practice on. I just started doing National Track League on a Wednesday night, and then six months later I was timing the Scottish National Championships. There is plenty of opportunities if you want them and if not then there are other reasons to come along and have fun. You could volunteer working the start gates, or train to be a commissaire and do the judging side of the event. Lots of ways to get involved in the sport you love!
Listen to Ben talking about timekeeping here: