MBE for top figure in African athletics

Norman Brook with his wife, Lisa
Norman Brook with his wife, Lisa
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A Cupar-raised man, who was head of endurance at UK Athletics and now plays an important role in developing sport in South Africa, was awarded the MBE in the New Year Honours.

Former Castlehill Primary and Bell Baxter High pupil Norman Book (59) received the MBE for services to social development through sport, specifically in Southern Africa.

This week, Norman’s proud mother, Mrs Mavis Brook, who lives in Cupar, said her son became particularly interested in sport when he was in fifth year at Bell Baxter.

A successful runner, he went on to become a founder member of Fife Athletic Club.

After training as a secondary school teacher, he taught for two years before returning to study sports coaching in Scotland and Canada.

In 1982 he was appointed British national athletics coach, based in Northern Ireland, a position he held for 10 years.

During that time, he developed expertise in high-performance sport and community sports development.

He coached several individuals to international honours and was coach to Great Britain teams at most major athletics championships, including the Olympic Games.

While in Northern Ireland, he also worked at a community level, developing clubs, coaches and athletes. His appointments included the role of sports development officer with the Sport Council for Northern Ireland.

Norman went on to run a successful consultancy business between 1993 and 97, working nationally and internationally in the field of sports development and management, with corporate clients and regional, national and international sports organisations.

Projects included the UK-South Africa Sports Initiative, which aimed to assist the process of transformation in sport in South Africa and empower previously disadvantaged individuals to become involved in coaching, officiating and administering sport.

In 1997 Norman returned to work for UK Athletics to manage the world class performance programmes for endurance-based athletes.

He worked with some of Great Britain’s leading athletes and their personal coaches through to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

On his return from a successful games In Australia, he became chief executive officer of the British Triathlon Federation, a post he held until the end of 2007.

He was widely acclaimed for his work in growing the sport in this country and Britain as a world-leading triathlon nation.

Norman was a member of the British National Olympic Committee and served as a board member of the National Coaching Foundation.

Six years ago he relocated to Cape Town, South Africa, with his wife, Lisa, so that they could spend more time with their children, Trevor, Caitlin and Lily, who are all working or studying in the Western Cape.

Since moving to South Africa, Norman has worked with a range of organisations around the world, developing sport in different contexts.

He is presently regional programme manager of Coaching For Hope.

The son of the late Cupar joiner Duncan Brook, he has two sisters, Linda and Sheila, who live in north east Fife, and a brother, Murray, in Milton Keynes. Norman returns to Cupar regularly.