Passing of Former AWF President Les Martyn

Sep 02 2021

Leslie Martyn MBE 1932 - 2021

The Australian Weightlifting Federation was saddened to learn of the death of former AWF President Leslie (Les) Martyn MBE OSJ.

Les had a long-term involvement in weightlifting as a coach, team manager, and administrator. He was the Weightlifting Manager of the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games Team, twice named as Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Weightlifting Team, and three times Chef de Mission of the Australian Commonwealth Games Weightlifting Team.

He was an active participant and advocate for sport which saw him take on leadership roles in various bodies and associations including the Australian Weightlifting Federation, Confederation of Australian Sport and the Australian Commonwealth Games Association of which he was President from 1979-1987.

A lasting legacy, of which he was very proud, was his involvement in the establishment of the Australian Institute of Sport. Following the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, Les Martyn, along with Wayne Reid OBE and Sir Arthur George, met with the then Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser to seek more funding for sport from the Australian Government. The Confederation of Australian Sport was formed with Les as Chairman of the Development Committee. The CAS represented all national sports federations and as a strong lobbyist group was influential in the establishment of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra.

His passion for fitness extended throughout his life and, in his later years Les took up cycling - completing in his first "Around the Bay" ride in Melbourne aged 70. This was a sport he enjoyed for some years and his sustained fitness enabled him to be part of the torch relay team for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, which he felt was a great personal honour.

Les is remembered via his inclusion in several Halls of Fame and by those who were involved in weightlifting and sports administration during the 1970s and 1980s.

Leslie Martyn MBE OSJ passed away on Tuesday morning, 31 August 2021 at the age of 89.