Club life member Verona Elder MBE received the honour of being inducted to the England Athletics Hall of Fame at their awards evening in Birmingham on Saturday.
When Verona joined Havering AC in 1980, after moving to the local area, she was already an established international athlete, while a member of her original Wolverhampton & Bilston club, having three times won 400m gold at the 1973, 1975 and 1979 European Indoor Championships and relay golds and 400m silvers 1974 & 1978 Commonwealth Games.
Verona became a valuable member of the Havering club during the 1980 and 1981 seasons, at one point holding the 100m, 200m, 300m and 400m club records – and her 300m and 400m records still stand 40 years later. She gained more international vests while at the club with the highlight being her European indoor 400m bronze in Grenoble in 1981 and after joining Haringey AC in 1982 competed at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.
After retirement from competition, Verona went on to teach sport to students with a learning disability at Thurrock College. She successfully managed the GB teams for athletes with an intellectual disability and was Chef de Mission at the 2011 INAS* Global Games in Italy.
A long-time resident of Rush Green, Verona moved back to the Midlands a few years ago.
The Essex League resumes this Saturday when the second round fixture takes place at Writtle University.