26 Apr 2018

Athletics partron Arthur Eustace dies

8:51 am on 26 April 2018

Athletics New Zealand Patron and one of its most distinguished members, Arthur Eustace QSO, has died aged 92

Lifetime Achievement Award winner Arthur Eustace at theHalberg Awards for 2012 at Vector Arena, Auckland, New Zealand on Thursday 14 February 2013.

Lifetime Achievement Award winner Arthur Eustace at theHalberg Awards for 2012 at Vector Arena, Auckland, New Zealand on Thursday 14 February 2013. Photo: © www.photosport.co.nz 2013

Eustace, a New Zealand sprinter and hurdler, athletics coach, and national and international track and field administrator, died on Tuesday, two days after his 92nd birthday.

In the 1996 New Year Honours, the Waikanae resident was made a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for community service. At the 2012 Halberg Awards, he received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding service to sport.

Eustace was a member of the management committee of the New Zealand Amateur Athletics Association for 28 years and was its president in 1984-85.

He was made a Life Member of Athletics New Zealand in 1987 and the Oceania Athletics Association in 1991. He was elected Patron of Athletics New Zealand in 2009 and has been re-elected each year since.

Athletics New Zealand's Board Chair Annette Purvis said that Eustace's wisdom and knowledge will be missed by the sport and she will miss discussing his views on all things athletics from grassroots through to the IAAF.

"Arthur was a remarkable sports leader who remained in Athletics right up to his death. Athletics NZ enjoys a rich history and place on the world athletic stage due to Arthur's leadership and foresight," said Purvis.

Eustace was a very well respected IAAF council member from 1984 to 1998 as Oceania Area Group Representative. He received an IAAF veteran pin in 1986 and an IAAF Plaque of Merit in 1995.

He was made an Honorary Life Member of the IAAF in 1999. He also received awards from the Italian (1987) and Japanese (1989) Governments for services to international athletics.

He qualified as a national athletics coach in 1955 and was elected President of the New Zealand Athletics Coaches Association in 1974. He served as the manager of coaching and development of athletics in Oceania from 1974 to 1985. In 2006, Eustace was an inaugural inductee into the New Zealand Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Eustace was a Technical Delegate at two World Junior Championships and at the 2000 Sydney Olympics Games. At the 1997 World Athletic Championships in Athens he presented the gold medal to discus throw champion Beatrice Faumuina.

As an athlete, Eustace won eight New Zealand senior championships from 1946 to 1951 and set records in both the 120 yards and 220 yards hurdles. Three of these were won within a period of 25 minutes in 1948 in Dunedin, the 100 yards, 220 yards and 120 yards hurdles.

At the 1950 British Empire Games he won a bronze medal as part of the men's 4 x 110 yards relay with Kevin Beardsley, Peter Henderson and Clem Parker. He also competed in the 100 yards, where he placed sixth in the semi-final.

Eustace was the athletics champion of Takapuna Grammar School in Auckland in 1944. Later that year he won the 120 yards hurdles at the Auckland Inter-secondary Schools Championships, setting a new record in the process. In 1945, as a member of the Auckland Amateur Athletic and Cycle Club, he won the Auckland Centre junior 120 yards hurdles championship and set a new record.

He lived in Fiji between 1951 and 1954, and represented Fiji at the 1954 Empire Games in the 4 x 110 yards relay, in a team of which he was coach and manager.

Eustace is survived by his wife Anne, along with four daughters and a son from his first marriage.