About Ron Pickering

About Ron Pickering

Ron Pickering was many things — teacher, coach and broadcaster but above all he stood for the ethics of sport, the aspirations of the young and for the belief that sport could enhance their lives in more ways than the physical.

In creating “The Ron Pickering Memorial Fund” it is hoped that a permanent expression of Ron’s ideals can be established. As Ron so often said,

Sport was born of philosophers and teachers and has survived thirty-three centuries because it is based on the ethic of fair play. Athletics is special to me because it caters for the young and the old, the fat and the thin, the best and the beginner… Sport is the most precious commodity we have to hand on to the next generation.

The Fund is dedicated to assisting aspiring young athletes who have shown by their attitude and dedication that they possess the qualities which will ensure the growth and protection of sport.

Any donation you may wish to make towards helping the next generation of athletes to succeed, will be gratefully received.

British Olympic athlete Lynn Davies listening to his coach Ron Pickering (right) after a training session prior to the 1964 Olympic Games. (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

The Lords of the Rings

Power, Money and Drugs in the Modern Olympics

Vyv Simpson and Andrew Jennings

We wrote in our introduction to this book of our difficulties in finding officials and administrators who were prepared to go on the record and tell the truth in public about all the things wrong with modern sport. One of the few who did not lack the courage to speak out was the eminent former British Olympic coach, teacher and broadcaster Ron Pickering, who died suddenly in 1991.

‘I think there’s the gravest danger that sport is on a slippery slope from which there may not be any return,’ Ron told us shortly before his death.  ‘A lot of us feel that in the last decade or so it’s been violated by greed, by drugs, by hypocrisy, by cant and by political intrusion. And by bad leadership.

‘Sport is the only human institution that is based on idealism. It’s survived thirty-three centuries because of that. If it were simply competition it wouldn’t have lasted thirty-three weeks. Anything that is not based on ethics cannot be called sport. If it’s a corrupt environment, we can’t invite our children into it.

‘We must be the jealous guardians of that ideal if we’re going to bring them into it and every time we see anyone breaking that ethic we’ve got to jump on them.  Otherwise we lose the precious jewel that we hand on to the next generation.  And I don’t think that my generation has been particularly good at looking after it.’

Quotes from Ron Pickering.

Excellence has more to do with self satisfaction and self esteem than financial reward. You simply cannot pay a man to climb Mount Everest or paint the Sistene Chapel.

Profit can be seen in the faces of children and in the minds of men as well as the pockets of entrepreneurs.

Winners and medallists are our shop window of inspiration. Without them there would be no champions tomorrow.

The world is littered with unfulfilled Genius–all overtaken by persistent middle of the road athletes with high aspiration levels.

Sport offers man the highest grade of happiness on the most convenient terms available anywhere.

Sport, at its best, is a magnificent International currency of peace, goodwill, of excellence and fair play where the youth of the world learn the essential difference between ASSERTION and AGGRESSION. De Coubertin’s challenge to the youth of the world to “Push back the boundaries of the hitherto unobtainable” or CITIUS, ALTIUS, FORTIUS. What else can harness the imagination of millions? Spectator Sports are the true Theatre of our day!

Ron OBE 1986

Ron Pickering was awarded the OBE for Services to Sport