New Zealand New Year's Honours List
Dr Rod Syme was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit ONZM in the New Year’s Honours for services to athletics and science. Syme has spent a life-time in the sport. A former triple jumper and decathlete he moved on to officiating becoming a highly regarded technical official both domestically in Canterbury and nationally as well as at international events.
In 1974 he was supervisor of technical equipment at the Christchurch Commonwealth Games and at the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games he was the referee for combined events. Syme has been an International Technical Official since 1995 and has officiated at a number of Olympic Games and World Championships. He was president of Athletics New Zealand during the centenary year of ANZ in 1987 and he was made a Life Member of Athletics New Zealand in 2006. He is also a former president and Life member of Athletics Canterbury.
Ron Robertson was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit MNZM in the New Year’s Honours for his services to athletics.
Robertson of Gisborne was the World Masters Association Male Athlete of the Year in 2011.
At the 2011 world masters championships in Sacramento Robertson won four gold medals and set three world age group records.
In the M70 grade Robertson set world records in the 1500m 4m 52.95s, 5000m 18m 15.53s and the 2000m steeplechase 7m 10.03s. He also won the 8km cross country in 32m 9.96s.
The 71 year old has an outstanding international record at world masters championships of 31 gold and three silver medals as well as 15 world records over the time.
He also currently holds 15 New Zealand masters records. (M55, M60, M70 1500m; M55 3000m; M50, M55, M60, M70 5000m; M50, M55 10,000m; M60, M65, M70 2000m steeplechase; M50, M55 3000m steeplechase).
Keith Scholes also from Gisborne received a Queen’s Service Medal QSM for services to athletics. Heavily involved with the sport in Gisborne, Scholes is also a competitive marathon runner, having won the 60-64 age group at the 2009 Rotorua Marathon in 3h 17m 45s and finishing fourth in 2011 and fifth this year in this age group at Rotorua.