David Seaton is one of the most important figures in the history of Northern Ireland athletics.
At the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards, David’s work in sport was honoured when he was named recipient of the WJ ‘Paddy’ Patterson Award, presented annually by the Northern Ireland Sports Forum.
The award recognises individuals who have served Ulster sport with great distinction. David has certainly done that.
He has been involved in athletics for nearly 60 years, first as an international level competitor and for the past 45 years as an administrator and event promoter.
From the mid 1970s he was Chair of the NIAAA (now Athletics Northern Ireland) Cross Country and Road Running Committee and in that capacity was a leading figure in the establishment of the annual Athletics NI International Cross Country promotion (now in its 41st year) as well as in the promotion of many other road and cross country events.
David was a leading member of the organising committee for the World Cross Country Championships in Belfast in 1999 and continues to be a driving force of many of the top quality road and cross country events in Northern Ireland.
He has also been a member of the Belfast Marathon organising committee since its inception in 1982 and has been race director since 1992. Most recently he has become Chair of the Belfast Marathon Company Board, working tirelessly to ensure the continued success of the capital city’s Marathon and more recently the Belfast Half Marathon.
He has also been Chair of Athletics Northern Ireland (ANI) since 2007 and has overseen a significant expansion in ANI’s activities and workforce.
And to think with all this going on he is still an active competitor, racing in Saturday morning park runs and even representing Northern Ireland in cross country veteran events. Not for nothing do many people in Northern Ireland see David Seaton as Mr Athletics.