ATHLETICS Tasmania has joined with the state government to recognise a unique commitment to the sport from Noel Ruddock AM, who recently began the 67th year of his involvement in athletics as either an official or administrator.
The association's new offices were officially opened and designated as the Noel Ruddock Administration Centre, by Sports Minister Michelle O'Byrne as a prelude to last Saturday's Briggs Athletics Classic.
It was a special occasion, not only because the sports staff finally have a home after more than 25 years of temporary arrangements but because the sport and community were able to recognise in person the most distinguished career in administration that the 110-year-old association has seen.
Tasmanian athletics has long achieved well above its station due in no small way to the quality and length of service of Noel Ruddock and his long-time colleague Graeme Briggs.
As Ruddock commented during the formalities: "Graeme had the ideas and Noel provided the execution." There was a good deal of truth in the quip.
The environment they created has ensured that Tasmanian athletics finds itself with three fully operational and equipped athletics stadia around the state, a rich history in high performance, association administration, competition delivery, talented officials and money in the bank.
Ruddock was a technical official at both Olympic Games held in Australia, the 1962 and 1982 Commonwealth Games and the 1985 World Cup in Canberra.
Recognised as an AA life governor and AT life member, doyen of the Tasmanian Olympic Council and Australian Commonwealth Games Association and through countless other honours, Ruddock was bestowed with membership of the Order of Australia in 1982.
He has been involved with the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (Tas Division) for more than 36 years as president, vice president, secretary/treasurer, member of the executive committee and delegate to ACGA national meetings.
He has maintained a similar involvement with the TOC, as well as being very active with the Pierre de Coubertin Awards program held in schools throughout Tasmania.
Now mostly retired , Ruddock still finds time to serve as a starter's assistant at club and school athletics meets and recently became treasurer of the Tasmanian Branch of the Order of Australia Association.
Ms O'Byrne presented Ruddock with a fine caricature drawn by artist John Farmer.
The office development which was made possible by an extension of the existing functions building at the Domain Athletic Centre was jointly funded by the state government and Athletics Tasmania.