Thirty-three years after helping establish the Wyndham Athletic Club, Gordon Rodgers has become its first life member.
He was presented with life membership by the club on Tuesday night at the club’s children’s prizegiving at the Menzies College gymnasium.
Rodgers helped found the club in 1984 alongside his late wife, Susan, and Dennis Warburton.
“At the time there was some others as well,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers has been involved in athletics for more than 40 years, as a competitor, coach, official and administrator.
“Sue was an official at the Olympics and we both officiated for Oceania championships around the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand in track and field,” he said.
Rodgers has also been heavily involved with Athletics Southland, and has been recognised with life membership of that organisation as well.
“I have always got a lot of pleasure out of helping young athletes to national titles .. helping them achieve their true potential and helping to pull out that little bit extra they might not realise they are capable of,” he said.
It was a surprise to be awarded with the honour, he said.
“It is always gratifying to be recognised by your own club, though that is not why you do it.
“But it is nice to know your efforts have been appreciated.”
Club president Jane Muir is a former athlete under Rodgers.
Without the help of Rodgers, the club would have folded, Muir said.
While the harriers side of the club had retained its popularity, Rodgers had had a big impact in keeping the athletics side alive.
“In the early 2000s Gordon and Sue kept that side of the club going as its sole members before it took off again,” Muir said.
He was also a driving force throughout the ’80s and ’90s.
Rodgers had helped many athletes in his work with the club.
He had also been club president for two terms.