Friday, December 15, 2017

Athletics world mourns the death of Neville 'Teddy' McCook

Teddy McCook bw

DIED ON MONDAY: Neville "Teddy" McCook

Kwame Laurence


The Caribbean sporting fraternity is mourning the passing of a stalwart, Jamaican Neville "Teddy" McCook.

McCook, president of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) and IAAF area representative, died on Monday.

McCook is also a former president of the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA).

"All of these countries that voted against me in the past, were able to work very closely with me," said McCook in 2011 after defeating Keith Joseph of St. Vincent and the Grenadines 25-6 to win his second term as NACAC president.

"I was able to help them and their programmes are improving, so I felt very confident."

A retired marketing consultant, McCook was the Secretary General of the Jamaica Olympic Association, a Board Member of Jamaica Special Olympics, and after stepping down as President of the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association in 1996 had continued as an Executive Administrator of the national IAAF Member Federation.

McCook was one of the founders of the Gibson Relays which were named in honour of Bishop Percival Gibson, founder of his alma mater, Kingston College. Now in their fourth decade the relays act as an important national fixture leading into the annual Boys and Girls Athletics Championships.

McCook was awarded the national honour of Commander of the Order of Distinction (CD) for Sports in 1987 and later conferred with the Order of Jamaica in 2006 also for Sports.

"The broad smile and immense energy of my close friend and colleague Teddy McCook will be greatly missed by all who had the fortune to make his acquaintance," said IAAF President Lamine Diack.

"Teddy was a tireless administrator at national and international level, a passionate believer in our sport. The systems he helped put in place in Jamaica laid the foundations and today continue to underpin the country's success at global championship level. Teddy's belief, vision and commitment to Athletics which decades ago nationally saw the creation of the Gibson Relays meeting has most recently helped power the IAAF Council's decision to create a new international competition in 2014, the IAAF World Relays. A staunch supporter of the work of the IAAF High Performance Centre in Kingston, Teddy's lifelong mission was the enhancement of Athletics, and our sport has lost one of its strongest advocates. Our thoughts are with his wife Sonia and his four daughters," said President Diack.