Harrier ‘kept the club active’

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Gore Harriers Club member Ivan Stark’s long service to the club was recognised recently.

A new trophy, the IH Baird Memorial Trophy for services to the sport, was presented to Stark at the prize-giving after the running of the club’s cross-country handicap race.

Club member Graham Hall mentioned the idea of the trophy to the late Ian Baird’s widow Kathi Baird who agreed a trophy would be a good idea.

The trophy was made from rimu which was very appropriate as Mr Baird enjoyed woodworking, Mr Hall said.

Mr Stark was selected as the recipient of the trophy because of his involvement in the club first as an athlete and then as an administrator.

“He basically kept the club active and going,” Mr Hall said.

“I think he was a deserved winner.”

Mr Stark said he had been a member of the club for 69 years.

He joined the day before his 18th birthday.

“I joined because I had friends in the club, Reg Clutterbuck and Johnny Muir,” Mr Stark said.

He ran for about 10 years and retired after winning about 19 Southland titles.

Then he became an administrator.

“It’s like anything. If you are keen on it, you like to see it become successful and you do your best towards it.”

His wife Helen had always been supportive of his involvement.

He was proud to receive the trophy because he had admired Mr Baird.

“Ian was always a great worker behind the scenes.

“Ian was always someone I looked up to.”

During the prizegiving Mr Stark also presented the Clutterbuck Cup to Invercargill Harrier Club member Kelvin Mead who won the men’s race.

Mr Stark said he enjoyed presenting the Clutterbuck Cup because he had been the first to win it, in 1955.

“Not many people get the advantage of being able to do that sort of thing because 66 years is quite a long time.”