Ipswich’s ‘Mr Athletics’ a great mentor

Mr Athletics Bill Paterson

‘Mr Athletics’ Bill Paterson.

 

THE man dubbed Ipswich’s “Mr Athletics” will be remembered as much for the way he helped people as his track achievements.

Bill Paterson passed away at Boonah yesterday aged 97.

The main athletics field at Limestone Park is named after Bill, providing a permanent reminder of his importance to the city.

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“He was one of the best mentors around,” said long-serving Ipswich athletics official Vic Pascoe.

“He was ahead of his time in a lot of his athletics coaching thoughts.

“I pay homage to him.”

As a coach, Bill left a lasting legacy mentoring up to 30 people at a time, in Brisbane and later at Limestone Park.

One of the fascinating insights into the man was hearing how he liked to train people who were a “non-smoker, not drinker” and didn’t chew gum.

Bill’s funeral is at 10am on Monday at the Church of England in Boonah.