Cecil Smith (1936-2016)
Cecil Smith, former Executive Director of the Ontario Track & Field Association (now known as Athletics Ontario) for a quarter century, passed away on Friday December 2, 2016.
Cecilâ€™s contributions to the sport of Athletics in Ontario were numerous. Cecil was inducted into the Athletics Ontario Hall of Fame in 2010.
Cecil was the publisher of Athletics Magazine and numerous National Statistical annuals. Born in 1936, Cecil Smith arrived in Canada in the 1970â€™s and began his involvement with Ontario as a volunteer coach with the Toronto Striders. He also got involved in the administrative side of the sport, initially as theÂ Chairman of the Ontario Coaches Association and later he was appointed Executive Director of the OTFA â€“ a position he retained until retiring 25 years later.
He started Ontario Athletics magazine, the predecessor of Athletics, in 1976 that included his regular â€œInside Trackâ€ column. He also developed programmes such as the Ontario Track League. Additionally, he founded the Pan Am Junior Championship, which he brought to Sudbury in 1980. This led to the successful bid for the 1988 World Juniors in Sudbury â€“ at which he served as Technical Director. He was heavily involved in the planning and conduct of the 1993 World Indoor Championships in Toronto. He also helped to revive the Hamilton Indoor Spectator Games, serving as meet director for several years. Among other accomplishments, Cecil served as a member of the secretariat for the 1976 Olympics (Montreal) and the 1978 Commonwealth Games (Edmonton). As a member of ATFS (Statisticians), he complied and published numerous annual lists, rankings, and handbooks that continue to be a valuable source of information to many today and essential in the pre-internet days.
Athletics Ontario sends our condolences to Cecilâ€™s family and friends.