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... Simpson Miller, Grange hail 'icon'

Published:Tuesday | February 12, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Simpson Miller

AS the tributes for track and field administrator Neville 'Teddy' McCook continue to pour in, two of Jamaica's leading political figures have expressed grief and shock at his passing.

McCook, 73, died at the University Hospital of the West Indies yesterday, after a long struggle with illness.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson

Miller and Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, Opposition spokesperson on Sports, have both shared their thoughts on his impact on the development of track and field in Jamaica and across the region.

"'Teddy' has given distinguished service to Jamaica and, without a doubt, was a nation builder who was diligent and disciplined in executing his responsibilities," said Simpson Miller in a release yesterday.

'He was a virtual icon in the track and field fraternity locally, regionally and internationally. He spent almost all of his life working on ways and means to improve the management of the sport structurally and organisationally. This made him one of the most clinical, efficient and technically sound sport administrators globally," Simpson Miller added.

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.

Grange, was also saddened by the administrator's passing, remembering him for his dedication and kindness.

"I have always been impressed by his dedication and commitment to track and field. He was a truly loyal Jamaican who was highly respected worldwide," Grange said.

"I, personally, drew on his input and guidance on many occasions and will truly miss him," Grange added. "I pray God's grace and comfort for Teddy's wife, Sonia, his daughters and other loved ones during this very difficult time and urge all Jamaicans to honour the memory of a selfless Jamaican, whose immense contribution to the world of athletics has left an indelible mark on the sport."

McCook, was president of the North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Area and was also a member of the IAAF Council up to his death. A former president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, McCook was also secretary general of the Jamaica Olympic Association during a life entirely devoted to track and field.

- Andre Lowe