Mile News


Sir John Walker named Patron of Athletics NZ

November 09, 2020

“It’s a great honor to be named Patron of Athletics NZ and to follow in the esteemed footsteps of a legend like Sir Peter Snell, who was a huge inspiration to me.”

From Athletics New Zealand

Legendary middle-distance runner Sir John Walker has been named as Patron of Athletics New Zealand.

Walker was welcomed into the honorary role at the 133rd Athletics NZ Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was held at Bruce Pulman Park in Auckland on Sunday, November 8th.

He is the second successive Olympic 1500m gold medalist and Mile world record holder to assume the position, which has been vacant since the sad passing of Sir Peter Snell last December. 

“It’s a great honor to be named Patron of Athletics NZ and to follow in the esteemed footsteps of a legend like Sir Peter Snell, who was a huge inspiration to me,” Walker said.

“I am excited by the strategic direction of Athletics NZ as the organization looks to ensure all New Zealanders have the chance to take part in athletics in a safe and enjoyable environment.”

Now 68, Walker, in 1975, was the first person to run a Mile in under 3 minutes and 50 seconds and won 1500m gold at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. He also won three medals at the Commonwealth Games, as well as breaking numerous national and international records.

Coached throughout his remarkable career by Arch Jelley, he also helped the New Zealand team to a senior men’s title – for the first and only time – at the 1975 World Cross Country Championships.

For more information on the achievements of Sir John Walker, view his profile on the Legends section of the Athletics NZ website by clicking here.

Athletics NZ CEO Peter Pfitzinger is delighted to welcome a person of such high standing into the position of Patron.

“Sir John Walker is a sporting icon, in both New Zealand and around the world, and we are honored that he has accepted this role,” Pfitzinger said.

In addition to naming Walker as Patron, the 2020 Athletics NZ AGM also served to appoint Karen Gillum-Green (Athletics Taranaki) as Vice-President while Dianne Rodger (Waikato-Bay of Plenty) was confirmed as club appointee on the Board Appointments Panel.

Catherine Rossiter-Stead was appointed to the Board by the Board Appointments Panel while the available elected position was filled by Genevieve Macky. The two new Board members replace retiring members Chris Maister and Peter Wyatt.

“On behalf of Athletics NZ, I would like to thank Chris and Peter for their service on the Board and everything they have done for the sport of athletics,” Pfitzinger added.

Tags: legend (24) , john walker (29)

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