In Loving Memory of Keith Newell
August 9, 2023 18:28pm
B.C. Athletics suffered a great loss on August 8, 2023 with Keith's passing. His contributions to the sport of Track and Field were incredible. Keith was a leader, mentor and Canadian expert in officiating athletics in Victoria, BC and Canada for over 54 years. One of only a hand-full of Canadian athletics officials who has been recognized by Athletics Canada as officiating for over 50 years. He was a senior official at many National and International competitions including Chief Starter's Assistant and the Pan American Games in Winnipeg (1999) and the World Track & Field Championships in Edmonton (2001). He has inspired many younger officials to become an official and provided hands-on development of these officials to senior roles. He played a leadership role in both national and provincial officiating oversight bodies--chairing the National Officials Committee for 10 years and as Chair/member of the Provincial Officials Committee for 15 years.
In addition to being one of the highest level officials in Canada, Keith was also an organizer and coach. Keith was the go-to person for technical specifications on athletics in Victoria, BC and Canada. He served as Technical Director and Competition Director for many of Canada's high-profile athletics events--including Competition Director for the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, BC (1994).
Keith's contribution to track and field was recognized through the following awards:
· 1998 BC Athletics Track and Field Associations Hall of Fame
· 2007 Athletics Canada Track and Field Associations Wall of Honour
· 2002 Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal
· 2010 Sports Officials Canada Official of The Year
Keith also had a passion for basketball. Many Victoria basketball players have fond memories of Keith as a fair and always present referee.
Keith touched a great many people over his life. He will be missed! Our deepest condolences to his wife Doreen, his children Paul and Georgina, and his four grandchildren, all of whom he loved greatly.