Remembering Raema Collins

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Raema Collins   17/01/1942 – 29/10/2023 

Raema Collins, who died in Palmerston North Hospital on 29 October, was a familiar voice at Newtown Park for many years in the 1980s and 1990s.  Her passion and interest in athletics started while at Horowhenua College, Levin, where she was a school sprint champion.

Often known as the mother of 1990 Commonwealth Games sprint representative Andrew Collins which fostered her involvement in Athletics especially through the Kiwi Athletic Club. Raema was known in the club as responsible for creating the famous one-piece sprints suits in maroon and white Kiwi colours for sprinters like son Andrew and fellow sprint reps Purdy and Green.  Raema served as a Kiwi AC Committee member during 1984- 2001. She was known for her fundraising abilities like producing and creating weekly printed programmes an News sheets to raise money for National team representative and funds for the track resurfacing at Newtown Park and sponsorships to support championship medals.

For the majority of Wellington Athletics followers, they will likely remember the feminine voice of Raema in the stadium announcer’s box during the 80’s and 90’s sharing the announcing duties with Roger Robinson in an era when there were enough spectators at weekly Wellington Centre meetings to need formal announcing. She stepped up to these duties in Wellington regularly and when Wellington hosted National Championships and other significant events.

Roger Robinson remembers Raema as “reliable and well-informed, calm and very congenial to work with, even under the frequent pressure of that job, Raema was greatly valued as a colleague and friend. She made a great contribution to Wellington athletics in her own right and is remembered with admiration and fondness”.

In addition to her Kiwi club and Athletics Wellington roles Raema served NZAAA /Athletics NZ  in the following, 

1987-88 Women’s Committee.
1988-89 Board member, Convenor of the Records Committee, Women’s Committee.
1989  Manager New Zealand Women’s team, to the Kagome-Ekiden Road Relay in Barcelona, Spain

1989-90 Board member, Convenor of the Records Committee, Women’s Committee.
1990-91 Board member, Convenor of the Records Committee.
1991-92 President Wellington Centre, Vice-President Athletics NZ.
1992-93 President Wellington Centre, Vice-President Athletics NZ.

Communication to the Family can be through Andrew Collins:

Thanks to Roger Robinson, Peter Jack, Murray McKinnon & Andrew Collins