Peter Manning

Peter Manning

Portrait by Robert Howson

Peter Manning never personally ran in the Olympic Games but he prepared nine athletes that did. Manning has been a mainstay beside Guelph tracks since 1970 and has mentored hundreds and possibly thousands of young people.

After arriving in Guelph he began coaching with the Royal Canadian Legion track program. In 1972 the Kinsman Club supported his coaching efforts and four years later four Guelph women were running at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. Yvonne Saunders, Rachelle Campbell, Barbara Bishop and Margaret McGowan all ran in the 4 x 400m final finishing 8 , setting a Canadian record.

Manning was one of Canada’s sprint coaches in four Olympics: 1976, 1984 in Los Angeles, 1988 in Seoul and Canada’s head sprint coach in 1992 in Barcelona. He also coached many other athletes to the Pan-Am Games and a myriad of other international sporting events.

“Coaching national team members is very rewarding” said Manning, “but it is coaching kids at the local level that really gets me. To be able to not only help young people excel in sports, but also in life brings me great joy.”

Several of his runners which he coached through the Guelph Oaks Track Club and now the Guelph Track and Field Club have gone on to be doctors, teachers and he even saw one become a judge.

In 1974 he was named Athletics Canada Coach of the Year and in 1975 was the runner up for the Air Canada Coach of the Year Award.

His next birthday will see him turn 80 yet he is still coaching and influencing our youth of today.

Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Builder category – on October 27, 2010