Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says the death of Neville ‘Teddy’ McCook, ‘a man who made an outstanding contribution to sports administration in Jamaica’, has shocked and saddened all who knew him.
“’Teddy’, as he was affectionately called was a virtual icon in the track and field fraternity locally, regionally and internationally. He spent almost all of his life working on ways and means to improve the management of the sport structurally and organisationally. This made him one of the most clinical, efficient and technically sound sport administrator globally. "
The Prime Minister said that, 'Teddy' has given distinguished service to Jamaica and without a doubt was a nation builder who was diligent and disciplined in executing his responsibilities.
Recalling Mr. McCook as a person who would not give up on any issue he considered to be just, especially if it had to do with the advancement of the sport of track and field, the Prime Minister said that she admired 'Teddy' for sharing his passion and zeal for sport development in Jamaica.
“'Teddy' conceptualised and had implemented the Gibson relays, in remembrance of his mentor the late Bishop Gibson, the first principal of his Alma Mater, Kingston College. The Gibson Relays is now a staple on the local athletic calendar and is regarded worldwide as one of the most prestigious athletic meet for high school students” the Prime Minister added.
Up to the time of his passing he was the Secretary General of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) and President of the North American, Central American and the Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC). He also served the Jamaica Administrative Athletic Association for 12 years as President where he campaigned almost daily for the improvement of the welfare of the athletes.
“As Secretary General of the JOA, 'Teddy' was extremely meticulous and dedicated to the execution of his tasks particularly on or around the time of the participation of our athletes in the Olympic Games. He carried the country's flag high and proudly during his stint as the President of NACAC. Although he was even handed in how he carried out his task as President, he never missed an opportunity to remind the wider NACAC family that he was from the country now regarded as the sprint capital of the world.”
The Honourable McCook was awarded the national honour of Commander of the Order of Distinction (CD) for Sports in 1987 and later conferred with the Order of Jamaica in 2006 also for Sports.
PM Simpson Miller has expressed condolences to his wife, Sonia, four daughters, relatives and friends and the sporting fraternity.
Mr. McCook died on February 11 at the University Hospital.