The Sarnia Walking Club are sad to report the death of Honorary Life Member Ossie Naftel at the age of 80 years.
Ossie (pictured in 1990) was one of the founding members of the Sarnia Walking Club back in late 1964. He went on to serve as President for nine years.
He started in athletics in the mid 1950s and drifted into race walking in the early 1960s where he competed in the annual Church to Church road walk. His first Church walk in 1960 saw him cross the line in 4th place in 3.38.17, improving his time to 3.07.32 in 1965, again in 4th place.
He was also walking in Guernsey Island Amateur Athletics Clubs events prior to the walkers breaking away to form Sarnia WC. His personal best times were all set from 1965 to 1970. He broke the hour barrier for 7 miles with a time of 59.00 in 1967 and walked 10 miles in 86.00 the same year.
A swift personal best of 7.36 for a mile was at the lower end of the distance scale with a 5.36.28 for 50 kms at the other.
Competing 14 times in the Church walk and after his 1960s walks it was 1981 before he found himself back on the start line again. His 1981 walk of 3.18.38 setting a new Guernsey M45 age best time which still stands in 2017. He competed on and off over the next ten years with his 1991 walk his last one, finishing in 3.28.04 at the age of 54. Photo above in the early miles of the 1963 edition.
His last walks were in the mid to late 1990s when he occasionally competed, even putting in a winning performance in the Rocquaine Regatta Handicap race. Amongst his running career were over 30 half marathons and marathon races as well as the local traditional events.
Ossie was also President of the GIAAC for 5 years and served as Vice President and Secretary for the Guernsey Sports Council.
For many years Ossie and his wife Rose could be seen at most road and cross country runs with stop watches in their hands. Remembering his family at this sad time, he leaves wife Rosemary, son Roger and daughter Susan.
Personal Best times
1 Mile indoors at Bulwer Avenue 8.05
1 Mile 7.35 in 1967
2 miles 15.53 in 1967
5 kms 25.06 in 1967
5 miles 41.42 in 1967
10 kms 54.14 in 1970
7 miles 59.00 in 1967
10 miles 86.00 in 1967
20 kms 1.52.03 in 1965
50 kms 5.36.28 in 1965
Church to Church 19.4 miles 3.07.32 in 1965
M45 Guernsey best time for Church to Church 19.4 miles 3.18.38 in 1981
M45 Guernsey best time for 30 kms in 3.07.15 in 1982
Guernsey Press from 24 years ago …Sporting Stalwarts