Trevor Bent, who passed away last week, will leave a huge void in athletics locally. A member of Athletics Taieri for almost 60 years, he balanced family life with competing, coaching, and officiating and helping others, at the Tuesday night athletic meetings at Memorial Park.
Individuals like Trevor, do not come along very often, the dedication, the passion, and the commitment he gave to the club, and the sport in general, will probably never, ever, be matched. He was like a Totara tree in the forest, he stood tall, never seeking the limelight, but enjoying immensely, every bit of success that he shared with ‘his athletes’, and the club.
He impacted the lives of so many young athletes, particularly through the ‘golden era’ of the 80’s and 90’s. No coach or athlete that asked for his advice, ever went away, without receiving anything other than a passionate response.
Recognised Nationally and Internationally as the ‘Guru’ of high jumping, he produced athletes who would excel at the highest level, – athletes he coached, broke 25 N.Z. records from 1975 until 2004, he coached 21 senior N.Z. champions, 17 junior N.Z. champions, 13 Youth N.Z. champions, and 17 N.Z. Secondary school champions. The highlight of his career would have to be the Gold medal, Tania Murray won in the high jump at the 1990, Auckland Commonwealth Games.
Trevor was an integral part of the Taieri club, as a competitor, coach, administrator, clubrooms convenor, statistician, and a methodical recorder of the clubs history. This he complied in to a book 50 Years of History, Athletics Taieri. His contributions to the clubs Annual Report’s, were legendary. Life membership was awarded to Trevor in 1985.
The sign in the present clubrooms, Benty’s Shed, is recognition of the many hours he spent in the building, training and nurturing athletes, as well as working for the good of the club. His favourite line –‘the harder you train, the luckier you get’!
Trevor and his late wife Eunice will be long remembered, as two exceptional contributors to the success enjoyed by the Athletics Taieri family.