Greats of the sport honoured in 2018 Hall of Fame inductions

Greats of the sport honoured in 2018 Hall of Fame inductions

Greats of athletics, Tommy Green, Geoff Capes, John Regis, Aston Moore, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Peter Matthews, and Katharine Merry were inducted into the Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the Ricoh Arena this evening. As well as the new inductees to the England Athletics Hall of Fame, the night saw volunteers from across the country honoured in the National Volunteer Awards to celebrate their dedication and service to the sport.

After 11 years of acting as host for the evening the tables were turned on Katharine Merry as Danny Crates took the microphone at the end of the evening and invited Ashia Hansen to induct the former sprinter who has continued involvement in the sport in a range of roles including as a commentator.

Katharine paid tribute to the coaches that had guided her throughout all the different stages of her career from the time she first become involved as a child. She spoke of the experience of competing in the historic Sydney Olympic 400m final against Cathy Freeman before adding, “The lactate from 50m to go is still in my backside in 2018.”

Katharine spoke of what it meant to be inducted and how she has enjoyed being part of the Hall of Fame and Volunteer Awards each year to see the greats of the sport and volunteers recognised together. “Athletics, I speak for many people in this room, is my life. I love my sport. I love everything about it. It’s a pleasure to be involved in it.

“Everyone in this room does make a difference. Thank you for everyone who has played a part.”

With John Regis and Jessica Ennis-Hill unable to attend video footage of their inductions was played.

Geoff Capes was inducted by the coach who spotted his potential when he was just a schoolboy, Stuart Storey. Geoff said, “I have been happy to compete at the very highest level, to have been number in the world and to have made many friends.

He paid tribute to the work of the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund and the young athletes coming through, “We have some great athletes and it is super to watch and see them win medals.”

In inducting him, Stuart Storey paid tribute to shot putting legend, “He’s been a great man in every respect. He was, and remains, a celebrity in this country. Geoff was superb in his career.”

World class triple jumper turned coach Aston Moor was inducted by Nathan Douglas and former World Indoor record holder Ashia Hansen. Nathan paid tribute to the genuine character of his coach and the way he had supported him through the twists and turn of his career with Ashia recalling some the experiences they had shared. Aston said, “A lot of people think that coaches go around wanting to be as famous as the athletes. Most of the time coaches are just relieved when the athlete does well, to finally see it come together is very, very satisfying.”

Statistician, author and commentator Peter Matthews described how he had an early fascination with the sport and statistics which had grown. “It got totally out of control,” he joked.

“It’s amazing and humbling to be honoured as I’m a fan. It is a privilege to be involved in athletics. I still retain a passion for watching it at all levels.”

Tommy, who won the 1932 Olympic race walk by a huge seven minutes, was represented by his grandchildren Cheryl Hookway and David Coakes. They brought with them the medal that their grandfather had won 86 years ago.

As well as our Hall of Fame inductions we also recognised our National Volunteer Award winners. You can click here to read more about the Volunteer award winners.

See below for a little about each of our inductees; click here to read their full information.

The event was sponsored by Track and Field Tours. The Regional Volunteer Awards programme has been supported by Spirit of 2012. 


 

 



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