Sunderland atheletics stalwart chosen for Olympic role

Kevin Carr, chairman of Sunderland Harriers, has been selected as an official for the 2012 London Olympics.

Kevin Carr, chairman of Sunderland Harriers, has been selected as an official for the 2012 London Olympics.

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AS a boy, athletics fan Kevin Carr used to organise races for his peers across Sunderland.

Almost six decades on and the 67-year-old veteran runner is preparing to help organise Olympic races after being selected to be a national technical official.

On July 31, the Sunderland Harriers chairman will head down to London, where he will spend two weeks helping to officiate the out-of-stadium athletic events.

Kevin said: “It’s ironic because when I was about 10, I lived in Pennywell and would organise all these races from there to Penshaw Monument.

“In the summer holidays, I’d get them all lined up and we’d set of there and back and I loved it.

“Now I’ve come full circle and it’s an amazing feeling.”

The first Kevin, who has been involved with the sport for 57 years, heard about his role was when an email congratulating him on his selection landed in his inbox.

He said: “I hadn’t put myself forward or anything like that, it was completely out of the blue.

“I just got this email one day and it was a really nice surprise. I didn’t expect anything like that.”

But it seems Kevin’s top track record and dedication to the sport caught the eyes of Olympic organisers who were keen to snap him up to help out with the Games.

Among his lengthy list of achievements, he has won a string of athletic titles, helped organise road racing and marathon events, refereed at the Marathon of the North and Sunderland 10km events and scooped a clutch of awards for his service to athletics.

Kevin, of Chapelgarth, said: “I’m really proud and it’s nice to be rewarded for everything I’ve done.

“I’m 67 now and still going strong and am heavily involved in it.

“I’ve been involved in athletics for 57 years and have always loved it.

“I remember in 1956 getting up at 3am to listen to the Melbourne Olympics on the radio.

“To be able to play a part in the London Olympics is unbelievable. Words can’t describe how I feel. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Twitter: @sunechochief