Controllers and commentators

Although the roles of controller and commentator are voluntary, they are vital to the sport and require a calm head, organisation, adaptability and the ability to ad-lib! To become an accomplished controller and commentator at a BE event involves much experience, but for those who wish to learn more about the role, BE runs 'controller induction days' and has a clear pathway for becoming a BE recommended controller.

How do I start?

To get started, BE recommends that you attend a training course for controllers and commentators. Once you have attended a training course (and even if you have not been able to), your next step is to contact your local controller mentor. There are controller mentors based around the country, chosen for their experience and expertise in the control box. Please note that all the controller mentors are volunteers, and may limit the number of trainees they are responsible for at any one time. If you experience any problems finding a mentor, please contact the BE office by emailing

What is the training process?

A trainee controller's experience through the mentoring process will depend on the mentor, the trainee's experience and the distance required to travel in order to meet. However in all cases the mentor will provide support to the trainee throughout to help them develop into highly experienced, confident controllers.

Initially your mentor is likely to give you a suitable date for you to start the mentoring process, at an event that they are working at. Your mentor will guide you through your first event day and provide support throughout the process. Meeting the team and experiencing a day will also give you a much clearer idea of what is involved and if you want to go forward. As well as attending events with their mentor, trainees are also encouraged to contact other control teams at BE events and arrange to attend them, to gain as much experience as possible. At each event, trainees should make sure the lead controller on the day fills in their log book, so they may keep a record of what experience they have had in the control box. This will also help their mentor to see their progression.

Controller Mentors

Name County Email
Paul Hagerty Staffordshire
Richard Connelly Cheshire
Henry Symington Norfolk
Carole King Wiltshire
Julie Skillin Essex
Ben Unwin Suffolk
Clare Prentice Surrey
Harry Park North Yorkshire
Simon Greenwood Dorset
Graham Daws Leicestershire
Andrew Spalding County Durham
Rodger Trivett Devon