At the recent General Meeting in Melbourne, Athletics East’s own life member Ted Simmons was elected as one of Athletics Australia’s life members. This is a fantastic honour and one well deserved to one of athletics greatest supporters.
The exert from the Athletics Australia media release is below or can be found here on their website:
The golden strains of his voice have been heard at Australian athletics events for nearly five decades but as dedicated and consistent as his voluntary work as an announcer has been, it is but a part of his exceptional service to and involvement in athletics over more than 70 years by Ted Simmons OAM (NSW).
Ted joined the Eastern Suburbs club in Sydney in 1947, competing in New South Wales inter-district and state championships competition, most proficiently in jumping events until 1960 when he first became an official.
Within a year he got his first appointment with the then Amateur Athletic Union of Australia as an announcer for an international meet at ES Marks Field. Ted’s profession as a journalist and radio announcer proved to be of huge benefit to athletics both at state and national level. His knowledge of the sport and excellent delivery style soon ensured that he was a number one choice as an announcer at local, national and international events in Australia.
Both in his work for the Daily Mirror, Radio 2SM and most notably with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and in a voluntary capacity, Ted was most adept and prolific in composing and publishing media releases and articles. He was particularly keen to source and research articles on athletics when he noted that there was a shortage of stories on other sports. This regularly gave coverage to athletics’ stories that might not otherwise have got a run.
He is equally recognised for his presence as an announcer at countless interclub meets as he has been at so many major international events in Australia – Pacific Conference Games (Canberra 1977), Commonwealth Games (Brisbane 1982), IAAF World Cup (Canberra 1985), World Under 20 Championships (Sydney 1996) and the World Masters Games (Sydney 2009).
In 2000 he was one of Athletics Australia’s nominees for the Australian Sports Medal which acknowledged his outstanding service as a competition official, especially as an announcer and as an athletics writer. Ted was elected as a life member of Athletics NSW in 2003, a year later was nominated for Australian of the Years and in 2005 received the Athletics Australia Platinum Service Award for 40 years service.
In 2006 Ted was further recognised by the Australian Honours System with the Medal of the Order of Australia – which acknowledged not only his service to athletics and journalism but also to soccer as a referee and historian and as an administrator in ten pin bowling.