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Obituary for Bobby Rea

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Bobby Rea
Bobby Rea

From Clare McCoy, Marketing & Communications Officer, NI Athletic Federation:


We are shocked and greatly saddened by the death on Sunday 12th November 2006 of our Chairman, Bobby Rea after a short illness.


Bobby had spent a lifetime in athletics, first as a competitor with Albertville Harriers in North Belfast and then as a coach and administrator. He was Secretary of the NIAF’s Cross Country Committee for nearly twenty years from 1983 and was fully involved in organising many of the high profile events hosted by the NIAF over this time. This included the Belfast Marathon from its inception and the World Cross Country Championship of 1999 where he was a key member of the technical organising committee.


Over recent years he was the driving force in setting up Abbey Athletic Club and was instrumental in the club becoming a major force in local athletics- only recently winning the NI Junior Cross Country title and the women’s section of the All Ireland Track & Field League for the past two seasons.


He has been Chairman of the Northern Ireland Athletic Federation for the past four years and has overseen a major expansion of the Federation’s activities during this time. He acted as manager for many NI Cross Country and Track & Field teams, culminating in his role as manager of the Athletics team at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne last March.


His drive and enthusiasm for all aspects of athletics will be a great loss and he will be very sorely missed at all levels as a coach, administrator and event organiser.


Our deepest sympathy is extended to his wife Caroline, children Neil and Tina and all the family.