|Athletics SA would like to congratulate Tony Keynes who was acknowledged in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours List with receiving an Order of Australia. Tony's service and commitment to athletics has been remarkable and we thank him for his continued support for our sport.
Tony is a very worthy recipient as you will read from his service and contribution below:
| • Contribution as an athlete and Official for Athletics SA/Athletics Australia:
Tony Keynes has been associated with athletics since he was a schoolboy in the mid 1960's. He has competed for fifty-two years including as a middle distance athlete as a young man and currently as a masters athlete for the St. Peter's Collegians' Athletics Club (known as the Saints Athletics Club) in the Athletics SA Premiership Cup Interclub competition in a variety of events, both track and field.
Tony officiates at nearly every competition for Athletics SA during the Summer Track and Field Season co-ordinating the placement of the hurdles for competition. Tony recruits the Saints Schoolboys to assist with the efficient setting-up and dismantling of hurdles. Tony's experience and leadership on this event is invaluable to the sport in SA.
Tony's knowledge is also invaluable on the many committees he is a member of such as the Track & Field Advisory Committee.
Tony has been a Life Member of Athletics SA since 2003 and in 2005 received the Platinum Service Award Awarded by Athletics Australia to technical officials and club, branch and association administrators who have provided service to the sport of athletics for 40 years or more.
| • Contribution to City-Bay:
Tony is the chairman of the City-Bay Trustee Committee. In his role he overseas the dispersement of funds to worthy athletics athletes and athletics clubs.
He also has had an influencing role in supporting the growth of the City-Bay Fun Run the largest athletics activity in the state, held annually. This is massive event each which attracts 35,000 runners and walkers each year. For over 20 years Tony sets up and co-ordinates the start line for the City-Bay Fun Run. Tony recruits 20-30 members of the Saints Athletic Club to set up the start area and then dismantles it after the event. His experience makes him a very important member of the City-Bay.
| • Contribution to Club and School:
For over fifty years he has given outstanding service to the Club as well as to the associated St Peters College, and to the sport as a whole in various capacities of volunteer service. He has been a life member of the Saints Athletics Club for more than 20 years.
Tony has been the 'Saints' club captain on and off for approximately 30 years and has also served as President of the club for many years - he is still the current president. He has undertaken those roles with passion and enthusiasm throughout. The club itself has achieved more premierships than any other club in the State Interclub competitions conducted by Athletics SA and Tony has been a significant influencer in this success throughout the last fifty years. In the last season, the club achieved 5 premierships including for the first time, the senior women's premiership.
It is through his vision and drive that the club has progressed from being a male only club to one where both genders actively represented the club. It has developed from a small largely old scholars club to the largest in the state with over 130 members due in a major way to his determination and engaging with supporters in making the club truly inclusive.
Tony has in those roles championed the cause for, and awareness of, athletics such that it retains its presence as a major part of the sports curriculum at the college to which the club is linked. This is clearly evident by the fact that the school has won the Achilles Athletics Cup for independent schools for 45 years out of 46.
In an official capacity, he has been on the Council of Governors for the school (its board) and has been President of the Old Collegians Association for well over a decade, constantly championing the sport of athletics thus helping maintain its profile.
St Peters College has also regularly competed in the Athletics Australia Schools Knock-Out Cup. This competition which is held annually is for schools throughout Australia. He has also represented the Saints Athletics Club at various forums over many of those 50 plus years
| • Coaching contribution:
His contribution extends to coaching as an accredited Athletics Australia Level 4 sprint coach as well as mentoring many young athletes, especially in recent years, where his contribution has played an important influence of the makeup of the School sports program. He is an official coach of boys at the college as well as managing his own squad of senior athletes. Tony also co-ordinates a training program for Saints members using past athletes as qualified coaches.
| • Leadership influence:
His major personal assets are eternal optimism with a passionate drive, a 'can do' attitude, and a refusal to be put off by setbacks. He leads by example in an engaging collaborative way, both on and off the track. It is these qualities that have made him a popular, influential and respected figure at club, state and national level.
| • President role:
He has spent many hours of time as a volunteer for Athletics SA, particularly in the role of President - for 12 years, having only recently stepped down from that role. The qualities indicated have helped transform the culture of the athletics environment to be friendlier, more inclusive, innovative, co-operative and communicative. He has encouraged activities that promote positive dialogue with the branches of the sport - in particular Little Athletics and the SA Athletics League (professional athletics). Since his retirement in that role the close ties that Athletics SA and Little Athletics have forged today are in no small part due to the initial effort he has made in setting up a culture of collaboration and partnership.
Tony has spent considerable energy building relationships within the Association as well as with key stakeholders who influence the sport's success generally in South Australia. His life membership of Athletics SA is testament to the service he has given to the sport in this state.
| • National Influence:
Tony is also highly respected nationally, amongst both international athletes and administrators, particularly as a result of representing South Australia as President of Athletics SA, by championing views that have been considered important and constructive for the good of the sport's future. He has attended many national conferences with a view to demonstrating his positive nature and passion and encouraging an open inclusive culture in order to progress the sport. In 2013 Tony was awarded as a Honorary Life Member of Athletics Australia.
| • Additional volunteering support:
In recent years he has also contributed as an official/manager at various interstate competitions.
Tony continues to play an influential part in the growth of the sport and his unselfish attitude is such that many volunteers as well as the staff of Athletics SA, continue to be positively affected by his contribution.
His life has, and continues, to truly revolve around his beloved sport and his influence as a mentor and role model to people of all ages of the community is well and truly evident. Not many people can claim more than half a century of service in their chosen activity where one has given far more than received in return. Australia.