Obituaries: Keith Davidson and Nick Phipps

England Athletics is saddened to hear of the passing of national level technical official Keith Davidson and pole vault coach and bobsled Olympian Nick Phipps.

Keith Davidson 1961-2024

The officiating community were shocked and saddened at the death of one of their top level colleagues. Keith was a National Level technical official linked to Cambridge and Coleridge AC. He also won the England Athletics East Region Official of the Year volunteer award in 2018 which - fittingly - was presented to him during an England Athletics championships in Bedford.

Keith was involved in athletics for many years and was a well respected official with a quiet gentlemanly approach towards athletes and colleagues. While his daughter was competing, Keith agreed to officiate as a field official and then worked his way up the levels to a Level 4 on the field in the following years.

Keith Davidson at World Para Games 2017

Keith officiated at many major televised events including the world outdoor championships in London in 2017 and the 2022 Commonwealth Games, plus a number of UK and England championships, as well as keeping to his roots at club level events, local leagues and Area championships. Keith was also the Cambridgeshire County Officials' Secretary for a while, and Officials' Secretary for Cambridge and Coleridge AC.

His nomination for the volunteer awards included:

"Keith isn’t afraid to get stuck in and always offers to go the extra mile. He does an amazing job making sure he has enough officials to cover the league meeting which can at times be a challenge but always makes sure it is a safe environment for all athletes competing. His dedication is very impressive and a perfect example of what a volunteer should be."

Nick Phipps 1952-2024

England Athletics were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of coach Nicholas (Nick) Phipps. Nick cared for the sport and had a huge passion for coaching and the development of pole vault. Nick had a big presence in the pole vault community and will be hugely missed by athletes and fellow coaches.

Nick Phipps

"Nick will be missed so much, and this is a huge loss to the coaching and vaulting community. As well as coaching vaulters and decathletes, Nick was a member of the pole vault steering group, where he contributed to the development of the event. Our thoughts are with his family and friends."

Darren Ritchie (England Athletics Event Group Lead for Jumps and Combined Events)

In his early years, Nick competed in the decathlon with a best of 7363 points. Nick also competed in the bobsleigh from 1980 to 1992, and represented Great Britain competed in two winter Olympics.

A Nick Phipps Memorial pole vault event takes place in Loughborough at 6pm on 16 May. Find out more about the event.