TASVG president reflects on Svein- Arne Hansen’s life
President of Team Athletics SVG Keith Joseph said he is personally saddened by the death of Svein-Arne Hansen, who passed away last Saturday.
Writing on Team Athletics SVG’s website, Joseph said : “I have known Svein-Arne Hansen for a very long time. At Congresses of the then International Association of Athletics Federations IAAF), now World Athletics (WA), we would always engage in intense discussions on the state of the sport at the global level and on the way in which the future was being shaped”.
“ Wherever we found ourselves together, we made certain to make the time to get together, however briefly, to discuss matters relating to our sport… He always seemed so eager to be of assistance and to share his opinions of what was happening in and to athletics across the world,” Joseph recalled.
Joseph noted that Hansen was a pioneer who felt that the sport needed to focus on the athlete.
“His One Day meet in Oslo emerged as one of the most important in the development of athletics as a sport of professional athletes… Since its establishment every athlete considered a prime mover in the sport wanted to be in attendance… He worked tirelessly to enhance the One Day meets, eventually helping to create what is today the Diamond League… This was evidence of his belief that athletes deserved to earn appropriate compensation for their commitment to training and delivering quality, record-breaking performances,” Joseph wrote on the accomplishments of Hansen.
“Svein-Arne Hansen possessed an engaging personality. He was straight in his thinking and speaking. He wasted no time on things that did not matter or had nothing of worth… If he felt strongly about any aspect of our sport he was quick to bring it to the attention of those that had the authority to make a difference,” the TASVG president reminisced.
Joseph said that in his native Norway, Hansen was seen as a tireless worker for the sport of track and field athletics, as he made sure to know each athlete and to ensure that they were all aware of his tremendous love for them and their individual and collective contributions to the sport in his country.
“ When he became President of European Athletics, Svein-Arne Hansen brought to the organization the very adroit commitment he displayed at home… He did much the same when he was elected to serve on the World Athletics’ Council… His colleagues grew to understand, appreciate and love him for his devotion to the sport and his eagerness to help in taking it to the very top of global sport,” Joseph commented.
“I am proud that I was privileged to have known Svein-Arne Hansen and to have shared so much of his experience and expertise as well as his very frank opinion of things… I am very, very proud at having had a relationship that allowed us to consider each other a friend,” Joseph ended.
Hansen was 74 at the time of his death.