life

Shot putter Tom Walsh is the youngest ever life member of the South Canterbury Amateur Athletics Club at just 25.
DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS

Shot putter Tom Walsh is the youngest ever life member of the South Canterbury Amateur Athletics Club at just 25.

World indoor champion Tom Walsh has been made a life member of the South Canterbury Amateur Athletics Club.

The 25-year-old shot put exponent was unanimously voted in at the annual general meeting on Thursday night.

Walsh has been part of the club since he was a five-year-old and these days is a star on the world stage.

Husband and wife Grant and Jan Lord have been made life members of the South Canterbury Amateur Athletics Club, along ...
DOUG FIELD/STUFF

Husband and wife Grant and Jan Lord have been made life members of the South Canterbury Amateur Athletics Club, along with Olympic bronze medallist Tom Walsh.

Wayne Doyle, who nominated Walsh, said his special service to the club was already huge.

"And he is just getting started."

Among his exploits listed were his bronze Olympic medal in Rio as well as winning the world indoor championships last year.

Tom Walsh giving Fergus Giles, 8, a hand with his technique at the  Pleasant Point Primary School after returning from ...
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/FAIRFAX NZ

Tom Walsh giving Fergus Giles, 8, a hand with his technique at the Pleasant Point Primary School after returning from the Olympics.

Walsh also has an Commonwealth Games silver medal and numerous New Zealand and Oceania records.

Doyle also noted he spends time with young athletes when he is back in Timaru and was a great role model.

Walsh is easily the youngest life member the athletics club has ever had but that was seen a positive by others speaking in favour of the nomination. 

President Grant Lord said Walsh was delighted by the news.

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"He's in the United States but I got hold of him. 

"Tom was really humbled and understood the significance of life membership for someone so young."

Walsh joins his original coach Ian Baird as life member as well as Linley Welford, Diane Smith, Bruce Leadley and Don Garland.

Walsh's father Peter was rapt for his son.

"It really is a thrill for him. His roots are here, there is no doubt about that."

Walsh senior said he wasn't sure where his son's athletics career would go in the early days.

"He would run down the track with a big smile waving. When I asked him where he got he was never sure but he was certainly having fun."

Walsh was not the only life member voted in, sharing the limelight with husband and wife Grant and Jan Lord.

The Lords long, dedicated and ongoing service was also recognised.

Simon Small said Grant had been around 20 years and in that time had been an official, a coach and a committee member as well as having a positive influence on the club.

"Most Saturdays you see him down at the track taking an officials role, running the competitions while staying supportive and friendly to all the athletes and parents."

Kayne Robinson nominated Jan saying she had done great things for the club with a positive attitude.

"In 2001 Jan joined the committee and has held many roles."

Robinson said that included health and safety on the track and also looking after the athletes' wellbeing.

"She has done so many great things for the club over her many years on the committee and I truly believe she will continue to do great things for the club."

The Lords had originally followed their sons into the sport.

Grant said they were similar to many other parents and then had just got involved.

"We have enjoyed it and it was special to be acknowledged together, I am not sure whether we are the first husband and wife life members."

Grant said wasn't sure when he morphed into be an official.

"We travelled with our boys when they were teenagers to meets in Christchurch and I just offered a hand."

He said it was similar with coaching.

"You just get involved and want to help out." 

Jan said she never expected life membership, as she to was just helping out.

"We have enjoyed our time with the athletics."

 

 

 

 

  

 - Stuff

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