September 25, 2020

Sir Austin – committed to service


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News_Photo_bv.aspBy Dorian Bryan From Barbados Advocate

FOR his commitment to the cause of the development of , not just in Barbados, but in the world, at large, former banker and veteran administrator, Austin Llewellyn Sealy, has been awarded the Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire (Kt Bach), in the Queen’s New Year’s Honour List.

A man of many talents, Sir Austin displayed a love of sports from an early age, from his time at Harrison College, included basketball and the other conventional sports which young men of that time played.

Speaking to The Barbados Advocate during an interview at his Highgate Gardens home, on Wednesday evening, Sir Austin revealed that he was humbled by the honour which was bestowed on him by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The resume is impressive. From the conceptualisation of the CARIFTA Games, which in essence, was designed to highlight the best of the regional talent among the youth, to a local success, such as the events which take place every year on the first weekend of December. “There have been many other involvements as I went along. I started in 1982/83 and then I gave it the name , when the Tourist Board conceptualised what they wanted to do…the name was another Austin Sealy creation. A lot of people overlooked the Austin Sealy trophy, which was created to recognise the most outstanding athlete.”

His love remains sports administration. From his early days even as he excelled as a Bank manager at Barclays Bank in Broad Street, which went until 1993, when he was appointed High Commissioner to London, he was a major figure in the Amateur Athletic Association of Barbados (AAA) and the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA). He remains passionate about sports development and on seeing young athletes develop to their true potential. CARIFTA remains one of his major loves. “It has been a tremendous breeding ground for regional talent…CARIFTA is now regarded as the leading junior track and field meet in the world,” he added, while opining that he would like to see the event return to its multi-discipline roots, where a wide variety of sports would be highlighted.

He was Executive Member, then Vice-President of the and Caribbean Athletic Confederation (1974-1982) then Senior Director, and Caribbean Sports Organisation (ODECABE) (1987-1995); member of the Finance Committee (1982-1986) then Honorary Treasurer (1986-) of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF); member of the Working Party established by the (British) Commonwealth Heads of Government to review sport in the Commonwealth (1988-2003); Executive Council member of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) (1994-2002); official in Barbados teams to Olympic, Commonwealth, Panamerican and and Caribbean Games (1971-); founder of the Carifta Games, the annual Caribbean Junior Championships (1972) then Chairman of its Organising Committees in 1972, 1977, 1985 and 1989; Director of Barbados Organising Committee for the 2007 Cricket World Cup; Chairman of the Co-ordination Commission for the Commonwealth Games in 2010 in Delhi (India) and still remains a vital member of the activities and told The Barbados Advocate that he has been to several Olympic Games.

He was also recognised by Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC, noted in a congratulatory letter sent in December 2010 when Sealy was honoured by the BOA for his contribution to sport and the Olympic Movement in Barbados: Austin has been an active and valued member in the world of sport at both the national and international levels, first as an athlete who competed for the Barbados team and subsequently as a sports leader who has played an important role in many areas, including 14 years as President of the Barbados Olympic Association.

“Austin joined the IOC in 1994 and has since been a key figure on various IOC commissions. He contributed to the success of the Games in Beijing in 2008 through his work on the IOC’s Co-ordination Commission and is currently putting his extensive expertise to good use in his role on the Co-ordination Commission for the 2012 Games in London,” it was explained. Sealy was recently re-elected treasurer of the Commonwealth Games Federation, a position he has held since 1985 and he also served on the Co-ordination Committee for the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.

In 1985, he was awarded one of Barbados’ highest honours – the Silver Crown of Merit (SCM).

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