Cecil Smith: 1936 – 2016

The Canadian athletics community is in mourning following the passing of Cecil Smith, a true pillar and icon of the sport. Over his illustrious career in sport, Cecil received such honours as the 125-Year Anniversary Medal of Canada’s Confederation, and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.

Cecil Smith arrived in Canada in the 1970’s and began his involvement as a volunteer coach with the Toronto Strider. He also got involved in the administrative side of the sport, initially as Chairman of the Ontario Coaches Association, later he was appointed director of the Ontario Track and Field Association (OTFA), until retiring 25-years later. He started Ontario Athletics magazine, the predecessor of Athletics.

He developed programs such as the Ontario Track League, founded the Pan Am Junior Championship, which be brought to Sudbury in 1980 and led to Sudbury hosting the 1988 IAAF World Junior Championships. He was heavily involved in Toronto’s 1993 World Indoor Championships, and helped revive the Hamilton Indoor Spectator Games.

Cecil served as a member of the secretariat for the 1976 Olympic Games and the 1978 Commonwealth Games.

A brief resume of his career:

  • Member of IAAF Technical Committee
  • Chairperson of the IAAF Decathlon (Women) Working Group
  • Member of the IAAF sub-committee on hurdle heights for women
  • Technical Delegate at major competitions
  • ITO at the 1999 World Indoor Championships
  • Vice-President/Meet Director of the 1988 World Junior Championships
  • Member (Technical), Organizing Committee, 1983 World Indoor Championships
  • Member of the Secretariat of the 1976 Olympic Games
  • Member of the Secretariat of the 1978 Commonwealth Games
  • Chief Announcer at the FISU Games
  • Athletics Canada technical representative at the 2001 World Championships in Athletics
  • Founder/Chairperson Pan American Track & Field Commission and Pan American Junior Championships (a bi-annual event throughout the hemisphere).  Introduced the Junior Championships in 1980.
  • Meet Director of the IAAF/Mobil Indoor Meet in Hamilton
  • Chair of the Canadian Juniors from 1975 to 1983
  • President/Publisher, Canada’s National Track and Field Magazine ‘Athletics’
  • Author and compiler of Canadian Statistics


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