Obituary: Dame Marea Hartman

Gladys Marea Hartman, personnel officer, sports administrator: born London 22 June 1920; Hon Treasurer, Women's AAA 1950-60, Hon Secretary 1960-91, Vice-Chairman 1980-91; team manager, English and British women's athletics teams 1956- 78; Member, Women's Commission of IAAF 1958-94, Chairman 1968-81; MBE 1967, CBE 1978, DBE 1994; Hon Treasurer, British Amateur Athletic Board 1972-84, Chairman 1989- 91; President, Amateur Athletic Association of England 1991-94; died London 29 August 1994.

BEFORE the Second World War the British women's athletics team did not compete internationally except at the Olympics and the Empire Games, each of which came round once every four years. But in the post-war era women have been fully integrated into the sport, participating in nearly 20 different track and field disciplines, in internationals jointly with the men's team, in cup competitions and, latterly, at grand prix events. This transformation was due in large part to the work of Marea Hartman, for 30 years Honorary Secretary of the Women's Amateur Athletic Association. Hartman was one of the longest- serving and most influential people in athletics, an internationally respected figure, and Chairman for 13 years of the Women's Commission of the International Amateur Athletic Federation. And all her work for the sport was carried out in a purely honorary capacity, without remuneration.

Marea Hartman was born in London in 1920 to parents in the hotel trade. As a girl she joined the Spartan Ladies Athletic Club, and sprinted both for her club and for Surrey, winning a county gold medal. During the war she served with the Army in the Welfare Division. She was for more than 30 years a personnel officer at the paper manufacturers Bowaters, but spent most of her waking hours working for athletics. She became team manager of the British women's team in 1956, the year of the Melbourne Olympics. Hartman remained in that post until 1978, taking in another five Olympic Games, and the European Championships in those years, and managing the English women's teams at the Commonwealth Games (as the Empire Games became).

As team manager her task was to guide and reassure anything between 30 and 50 highly strung international athletes, often cooped up in a cramped games village. Perhaps the high point of her career was the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, when she was associated with Mary Rand's three medals (including the long jump gold) and Ann Packer's victory in the 800 metres.

While attending the Mexico Olympics in 1968, Hartman was selected Chairman of the Women's Commission of the IAAF. She remained in the post until 1981 and was an honorary life member of the commission. One of the stars of Hartman's team in Mexico was the 400-metre runner Lillian Board. In the succeeding years Board contracted cancer and Hartman was with her when Board died at a Munich clinic in December 1970. Hartman was largely responsible for setting up a trophy in Lillian Board's name which is still presented annually at the WAAA championships.

As Honorary Secretary of the Women's AAA, Hartman was effectively the honorary chief executive for women's athletics in the whole of Britain, her duties including the organising of the annual WAAA championships, both indoors and out. As Honorary Treasurer of the British Amateur Athletic Board, she found sponsors for BAAB international meetings and organised fund-raising. We served together on the BAAB and I found her support as a council member invaluable; she always emphasised the importance of correct behaviour in athletics, and campaigned against the use of performance-enhancing drugs and stimulants. She served on the board's working party on the subject and in January 1988 was one of the founder members of a new drug-abuse sub-committee.

When the administration of athletics in Britain was rearranged, and the British Athletics Federation created, in 1991, Hartman became President of the new AAA of England.

Marea Hartman was also in the forefront of British sport in general and was a member of the Executive Committee of the Central Council of Physical Recreation from 1972 and latterly its Deputy Chairman and Honorary Treasurer. She was appointed DBE in this year's New Year's Honours List for 'services to sport, particularly athletics'. She took a Corinthian approach to the present-day professional aura of sport. For her, sport remained a recreation rather than a source of income.

Marea Hartman was a white- haired, smiling figure - I envied her ability to produce to order for the cameras a genuine smile, rather than a smirk - and was known throughout the athletics world for her taste for Campari and soda, her favourite drink.

Although already ill, she attended both the AAA championships, at Sheffield, and the European Cup Final, at Birmingham, earlier this year. She was too sick to attend the Commonwealth Games in Canada, which ended on Sunday. But when I went to visit her last week, she was deeply interested in the progress of the Games and as alert and as concerned as ever at all that was going on in the sport she loved, and to which she gave so much.

(Photograph omitted)

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Management Trainer

£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Exciting career opportunity to join East...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Scientist / Research Assistant

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious start-up company b...

Reach Volunteering: Chair of Trustees

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Do you love the Engl...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital