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McCook gets highest IAAF award

Published:Monday | February 25, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Neville 'Teddy' McCook

Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer

NEVILLE 'TEDDY' McCook, the former North America and Central America and the Caribbean (NACAC) Area leader and Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) president, was posthumously awarded the highest IAAF Award for sports - the Gold Order of Merit.

Bob Hersh, a vice-president of the IAAF, bestowed the award on the late McCook at yesterday's service of thanksgiving, held at the St Augustine's Kingston Chapel, which is located on the premises of his alma mater, Kingston College.

"I feel honoured to confer this on someone so noble as McCook," said Hersh.

Former principal of Kingston College and Rector of the Kingston Parish Church, Don Taylor, who delivered the homily in honour of McCook, said his former schoolmate was 'someone special' and touched many lives positively.

"Teddy (McCook) was indeed someone special and he helped to transform the lives of others and he lived his life well," said Taylor.

Significant thing

He said McCook always told him the most important things he wanted was to have his funeral service at Kingston College chapel.

"To be buried from the Kingston Chapel was the most significant thing for him as he wanted to come back because most of his life unfolded inside that chapel," continued Taylor.

"Like all Kingston College Old Boys, the chapel was a very important part in their lives and he could have his burial service anywhere, but he opted for the chapel which he thinks was somewhere special in his life," Taylor shared.

Among the overseas guests present was former outstanding Bahamian Olympian, Pauline Davis.

"I feel privileged to be here in delivering a letter on behalf of my Federation and people of The Bahamas to the family of McCook," said Davis.

World and Olympic 100 metres champion, Usain Bolt, was one of several local sporting icons in attendance. Others included former athletes Juliet Cuthbert, Juliet Campbell and Jermaine Gonzales, along with top administrators Mike Fennell, the Jamaica Olympic Association president, Institute of Sports chairman Don Anderson, JAAA President Dr Warren Blake, JAAA Secretary Garth Gayle, International Federation of Netball Associations president, Molly Rhone, and former national senior football team captain, coach and technical director, Carl Brown.

Also present were Mike Sands, president of the Bahamas Athletic Association, Erskine Samuels, president of the Barbados Athletic Association, Esther Maynard, former president of Barbados Athletic Association, Catherine Jordon, president, Turks and Caicos Athletic Association, Rita Gardener, head of Commonwealth Games Association, Keith Heylighter, secretary, St Kitts Athletic Association, Stret Green, president of Antigua National Olympic Committee, Trevor Bailey, president, St Vincent Athletic Association, Felix Wilson, president, Dominica National Olympic Committee, Ephraim Jarrett, President of Trinidad and Tobago Athletic Association, Amadeo Francis, Former NACAC president and IAAF vice-president, Victor Lopes of Puerto Rico, a former NCAA Area representative.