By Neto Baptiste
The sporting fraternity, and more so, the Olympic movement here, are mourning the passing of a former administrator and coach, LeRoy Williams, who passed away at his home on Sunday night at the age of 84.
News of his sudden passing spread quickly with many expressing their condolences to his family, including President of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and former sports minister, E.P. Chet Greene.
“I want to extend condolences to the grieving wife, Yvonne, and his son, Arden, on the passing of Leroy who was an outstanding servant of sports in Antigua and Barbuda and in particularly, Olympism. Leroy, since moving to Antigua back in the 70s or early 80s, has contributed quite significantly and immensely to the development of sports in Antigua and Barbuda,” he said.
“He was very often misunderstood but I think everybody with which he has had to work over time, would have had the chance to look back and see the value of his council and his wisdom which, of course, came with time and experience. We are the poorer for his passing, but Antigua and Barbuda is the richer for his service to sports in our country,” he added.
LeRoy, who retired as secretary general of the NOC in 2009, served in the position for 32 years before the appointment of Cliff Williams, who is no relation, in 2010.
Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, also expressed condolences on LeRoy’s passing, stating that the former administrator played a major role in him becoming involved in sports and sports administration.
“I just want to express condolences to Arden, his mom, and the Williams family on the passing of his father, Mr. Williams. Mr. Williams was one of those persons who got me into sports a long time ago so I think that his loss is a huge one to the entire sporting fraternity in Antigua and Barbuda and beyond, so I just want to express my condolences to the family on behalf of myself and the Ministry of Sports,” he said.
LeRoy was the founder and coach of the Pioneers track & field club which produced the likes of long and middle distance runner, Janill Williams, and others like Narissa Pelle and Viani Joseph. Former national athletes and brothers Dale and Evans Jones were also members of the Pioneers club.
LeRoy’s son, Arden Williams, when contacted, said the family is still trying to cope with his passing.