Councillor George Cameron, chairman of the Isle of Wight Council, has paid tribute to former council officer Ray Scovell, who died on 19th January this year:
Ray Scovell was a man known and loved for his dedication and commitment to Island sport, especially athletics where he coached and volunteered at the Isle of Wight Athletics Club for nearly 30 years.
There was no job Ray did not shy away from; event organiser, groundsman, maintenance man, travel coordinator, he did it all.
Ray was pivotal in growing the sport during this period and was hugely influential in developing new initiatives.
With Ray fully engaged in the club and the track facility, the club soon became one of the largest in the south, which in turn resulted in many Isle of Wight athletes securing county, national and international accolades.
The council was fortunate to attract Ray to join the Sports Development Unit on a part-time basis in the late 1990’s and Ray’s inspirational character was a driving force in establishing successful projects to motivate Island people young and old into sport and physical activity.
Ray was key in the organisation of the 2011 Natwest Island Games athletics event, and the legacy programmes that supported that event.
During Ray’s years with the council, he was instrumental in the success of both the Primary School Island Games and the World Island Youth Games, where thousands of young people were given memories of a lifetime.
In Ray’s latter years he turned his volunteering to creating the hugely popular Park Run – which started 8 years ago with just 30 runners and grew to a staggering 300 participants a week. Ray worked tirelessly for the sports he loved, both for the council and as a volunteer.
As well as being a truly inspirational member of the Island’s community, he was a much-valued council officer, and will be sadly missed by his many friends and former colleagues across the Isle of Wight Council.
Ray’s wife of almost 50 years, Rose, has also sadly passed away – 2 weeks after Ray’s death.