After a period of service to the Oceania region spanning more than 15
years, the Director of the IAAF Regional Development Centre in
Adelaide, Fletcher McEwen, has announced that he will retire at the end
of the year. During his tenure as RDC Director, Fletcher, one of the
"founding fathers" of the IAAF development program, provided invaluable
assistance to the 19 IAAF Member Federations in the Oceania Area.
During the IAAF World Cup in Athletics in Canberra in 1985 the then
President of the IAAF, Dr Primo Nebiolo, announced that a Regional
Development Centre would be established in Australia to serve the
Oceania Area. Suitable accommodation was secured at Olympic Sports
Field, Kensington, in Adelaide and Fletcher, a former National Head
Coach of Athletics Australia, was appointed as Director and the RDC
Adelaide commenced operations on 2 April, 1990. The RDC subsequently
moved to its current location at Santos Stadium in Adelaide.
Throughout the 15 years Fletcher has been Director of the RDC, he has
visited and worked with all Member Federations in the Oceania Area and
provided to them much needed assistance and advice in all aspects of
the sport of athletics – athlete development, coach education,
officiating, competition and team management. At the same time, each
year the RDC, under Fletcher’s guidance, provided a range of formal
training programs for athletics personnel from the region.
There can be no doubt that the position of athletics as the principal
sport in Oceania is due in no small way to Fletcher’s efforts.
Indeed, in 1995 he was awarded the Medal in the Order of Australia
for his services to sport in Australia and the Pacific region by the
Australian Government and in 2000 he received the Australian Sports
An appropriate farewell function – in true Oceania style – will be
organised for Fletcher in 2006. In the meantime, all of the Oceania
Athletics Family join together in thanking Fletcher McEwen for his
outstanding service to our sport and to wish him and his wife Colleen
all the very best for the future.
IAAF Area Representative