Athletics NI Official Nominated for Top Award
UK Sport is the governing body for all sports in the country and Roy’s nomination has been shortlisted for the overall award which will be announced at the Annual Dinner in Kenilworth at the end of October.
Robert (Roy) Stevenson, known to one and all as Stevie, is without doubt unique and, although the word is often overused, he is quite rightly regarded as a legend.
Born in Scotland, subsequently educated at Maidstone Grammar School, his claim to fame as an athlete was that he once, in the school’s sports, defeated Frank Sando who would go on to become one of Britain’s greatest distance runners competing in the Olympics and twice winning the International Cross Country title.
Stevie was to take a different path in the sport which has proved to be no less successful and certainly greater in longevity. His family moved to Northern Ireland during the World War 2 and the Province has been his home ever since.
His teaching career centred on Cookstown High School in Mid Ulster where he was referred to as “an institution”.
He quickly embroiled himself in school sport especially hockey and athletics and outside school he was immersed in the local Scouts. His commitment to that movement was recognised in 2009 when he was awarded the MBE for his voluntary services to sport and Scouts in Northern Ireland.
In sport, Roy developed the skills of timekeeping and soon became a regular and prominent member of the team on the stand at athletics meetings throughout Northern Ireland and Britain including at Commonwealth Games.
Now approaching 90 years old, his enthusiasm and diligence continues despite the emergence of electronic timing. An enthusiasm which continues long after a meeting as he compares his times with those from the camera and adds the results to the mountain of statistics which pervade his home.
It is in his dedication to School’s Athletics however that sets him apart from the rest. As Vice President of the Irish Schools Athletics Association he contributes greatly to the organisation of the sport at that level in Ireland and further afield with his involvement in the School’s International set up.
There are others who could possibly claim a similar commitment but it is highly doubtful if there is anyone in the sport of athletics or indeed in any sport who could equal the record he set this summer when he took his place on the timekeepers stand at the Ulster Schools for the 69th consecutive time!
Congratulations to Stevie from everyone at Athletics NI.