The mantra "chin, knee, toe make a bow" manifested itself in my vocabulary in 1968. As one of a group of Physical Education students at St. John’s College York I was fortunate to have Wilf Paish as a visiting Lecturer in Athletics. As BAAB National Coach for the Northern Region this was part of his extensive remit. However, the Javelin Throw was only one of the technical events that Wilf taught me to teach. These skills remained with me for the whole of my teaching and club coaching careers. I am sure thousands more would pay similar testimony.
This was not my first encounter with Wilf. As a ‘talented’ sprinter, his words not mine; he first had the ‘pleasure’ of coaching me as a sixteen year old at Pocklington School in 1964. This was another of his responsibilities.
Only just into his thirties, Wilf had such a rewarding grass roots career that later on led to much acclaim and success in the International arena with, amongst others, British legends such as Tessa Sanderson, Peter Elliot and Mick Hill.
Having had some input into my early development it seemed only natural that I should call Wilf up to advise on and later coach my two sons.
The English Schools’ Athletics Championships was a major inspiration to Wilf and this rubbed off on all who came into contact with him. Highlights for this particular family were of Wilf’s favoured events at the 1991 Championships at Stoke on Trent and the 1995 Championships at Nottingham. In 1991 Wilf coached winners of the Senior and Intermediate Boys 800 metres, Mark Sesay and Andrew Parker respectively, and in 1995, amongst many others; he coached the winner of the Intermediate Boys Javelin. These are just the memoirs of one family. There are untold numbers of families around the country with similar stories to tell.
Apart from coaching athletics, mentoring coaches, teaching teachers and student teachers Wilf has had a huge impact in the sports scientific field, through published articles and papers in journals, magazines and newspapers and Universities both nationally and internationally. A world renowned reputation.
In his spare time, yes he found some time to be a "Radio Ham". Though conjuring up images of Tony Hancock, unlike Hancock Wilf actually succeeded in making contacts all over the world. He spoke about this with much enthusiasm.
Returning to his first love of grass roots athletics, despite debilitating illness, his later years were largely occupied in coaching the next generation of athletes at Carnegie College ( Leeds Metropolitan University ) track.
If you ever go there, as I did recently, I am sure you can hear on the wind, for the wind does blow strongly up there,
"chin, knee, toe make a bow watch it go"