Taieri has lost another valued Member
Russell Findlay, who passed away on 25 August 2017 had been a member of Athletics Taieri since the early 1970’s and was the Club President from 1975 till 1979, and he was Club Secretary in the 80’s. He was also Athletics Otago President for 3 years in the early 80’s. In 1991 both Russell and Bev received Athletics New Zealand Long Service Award to Clubs. And in 1996 was awarded Life Membership by the Taieri Club - Athletics Otago and he also became a Life Member of New Zealand Children’s Athletics Association. Russell semi-retired from Athletics round 2000.
Russell was also involved quite a lot with selecting and managing of Otago Under 18 Teams for New Zealand Championships and Otago Interprovincial teams. Russell and Bev were also heavily involved with Colgate Games throughout the regions for many years.
Individuals like Russell who gave so much of their time to the sport, are a rarity now, his commitment, dedication, and his relatively quiet demeanour, meant that a lot of the stuff he did for the Taieri club, Otago children’s athletics and the wider Otago senior scene, often went un-noticed. But he was always there!!! He was dependable, the answer was ‘YES’.
Russell was always present for working bees at the clubrooms, and he was an avid supporter of the club’s efforts to secure permanent clubrooms, and his commitment was second to none when it came to the welfare of the Taieri club.
Russell and Bev were known locally among the children as …… Mr & Mrs Athletics. He would run Bev to meetings, picking her up when they finished, and he would deliver Minutes and Annual reports around Mosgiel, to make sure everyone received them. He was always happy to contribute where he could.
Russell was always there as an official on Saturday morning and afternoons at the Caledonian, he was ever present at the Tuesday night club meetings, and he coached many junior athletes, always proud of what they had achieved.
He volunteered his, and Bev’s time as officials and timekeepers in the winter season, standing out in all weathers to record club championships. He would even ring Rob on occasions, when there was no report in the local paper re the Harrier activities.
Even after Russell retired from being actively involved with the club he still took a keen interest in how many of the athletes were going.... and often quoted athlete’s times and distances they had achieved either on a Tuesday night or events at the Cale.
We have been fortunate to have had Russell’s on-going contribution to the club and his presence will be sorely missed.