THE sporting world is in mourning after the death of Geoffrey Corlett at the age of 86.
Geoff died in the coronary care unit at Noble’s Hospital on August 22, leaving wife Jean, children Nigel and Shirley and granddaughter Natalia, as well as a wider family. Perhaps best known for his involvement with the Island Games, Geoff has been credited with making the Games the success they are today.
A tribute posted on the International Island Games Association’s website by chairman Jorgen Pettersson, from Aland, said: ‘Our Family has lost its Father, the Isle of Man has lost an enthusiastic Manxman and the world of sport has lost a role model.’ The statement said Geoff was ‘the essence of health, life and curiosity’ and added: ‘No matter what project he undertook he made a difference. Thanks to him the world of today is a little smaller.’
In his own personal tribute, Mr Pettersson said: ‘I am sad to have lost a friend who I thought would stay around forever. But I am happy to have had the chance to meet a man who did change the world and the way we live.’
Geoff, of Old Laxey Hill, was the organising director for the first Inter-Island Games in July 1985 and because of the event’s success it was agreed to set up the Island Games Association. Geoff was elected to the executive committee as both honorary secretary and honorary treasurer and continued to serve in both offices for eight years.
He was a teacher for 35 years before returning to his native Isle of Man in 1983 to take up a government appointment as organiser for the 1985 Year of Sport. Geoff was also a swim coach, author of several books and supporter of disabled causes. He remained dedicated to health and fitness throughout his life and took part in a triathlon in the Isle of Man to celebrate his birthday last year, raising money for Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation. For many years Geoff was heavily involved in university sport at national and international level and was a selector in swimming and water polo for the World Student Games. He was appointed director of the Isle of Man University Student Festival of Sport in 1985 and during his time at the helm more than 40,000 students from England, Scotland and Wales participated in 30 different sports.
The Venerable Brian Partington, a former IIGA chairman, said: ‘Geoff made an indelible impression on the Isle of Man sporting community with his major contribution to the 1985 Year of Sport and organisation of the first Inter-Island Games; his passion and hard work for the International Island Games Association as general secretary and later as Pater Ludorum (Father of the Games); his commitment to disabled sport here and amongst the island communities, as well as his organisation of the Universities Sports Festival. He will be much missed by his many friends worldwide and we are greatly in his debt.’
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Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 14 C
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