Christine Stoops: Friend, Field Official, Mentor and . . . unofficial mentor

Thursday 13th June 2024

Officials section of this website

scottishathletics were deeply saddened last weekend to hear of the sudden passing of highly regarded  Field Official, Christine Stoops.

Christine was an athlete-friendly Official and had a Mentor role, too, to help others. She was a big supporter of our Throws Grand Prix events.

Brenda Stephen and Caroline Johnston have written personal tributes below.

Christine’s funeral will take place:

Thusday 20 June at Clydebank Crematorium at 2.30pm and thereafter at Kilmardinny House in Bearsden.

Those planning to attend are asked to contact Caroline Johnston in order to help Christine’s sister, Moira, plan for numbers. Or message 07841576821

We send our sympathies to all family and friend at this sad time.


Thoughts of a friend (Brenda) on Christine’s passing . . .

‘Nobody who saw Christine running about Grangemouth in her role as Field Referee at the Schools Pentathlon on June 1 June would have believed that, just four days later, she would be rushed to hospital and would tragically die on June 8.

‘Christine was an excellent Official, full of energy and enthusiasm, but for those of us who worked beside her she was so much more. She was an Official Mentor to three Officials, but an unofficial mentor to everyone who was lucky enough to be in her team.

‘She was always ready to give help and was always patient and considerate.

‘Christine was an athlete-friendly Official who, in spite of working full time in a stressful job, gave generously of her free time to support many league events as well as Throws Grand Prix and of course scottishathletics and Scottish Schools championships.

‘For a number of years she was the Field Referee at the Final SAIL event and always seemed happy to take on the challenge of 24+ eager young High Jumpers or five back-to-back Long Jumps.

‘Every Field Referee was always delighted to see Christine’s name on their list as it meant they had an official who could tackle anything.

‘Christine was starting to make her mark at International level and there is little doubt that she would have gained many accolades in the future, but in her much too short lifetime she made a considerable contribution to the sport she loved.

‘It is fitting to leave the last words to Christine herself.

‘When asked a few years ago to write a short profile detailing how she became an official, Christine, in her usual wonderful, humorous manner we all came to appreciate, wrote:

‘I was an athlete/coach/team manager at most League Matches, but when I realised I could earn more points from officiating than plodding round and coming last in the 3000m – or recording the lowest score in the Shot Putt – it didn’t take much persuasion to migrate and become part of the purple crew. 

‘I no longer compete or coach and very much enjoy my Field Duties . . .

Brenda Stevens


Thoughts of a friend (Caroline) on Christine’s passing . . .

‘From athlete, through coach to Official, Christine Stoops has contributed expertise and knowledge to all who have had the privilege of working with her in the world of Scottish Athletics.

‘Her empathy as a fellow Official and mentor is exemplified by the outpouring of sadness at her passing.

‘Always there with a supportive comment, Christine’s humour and tenacity made her an integral cog in the engine that is the field officials’ family.

We are here for benefit of  the athletes’ was the mantra, even if some of those benefits was a positive reinforcement of a rule delivered in Christine’s own inimitable style.

‘Christine was always supportive as a mentor. She had the skill of knowing when to intervene and when to allow self development. Those of us privileged to have her as a mentor always knew we had a safety net ready to catch us should we need it.

‘Always at the end of a phone or an email, her advice, based on a solid knowledge of the rules kept us on the right track.  ‘Play to your strengths‘ .

‘Christine was not averse to dropping you in it for your own good.

I’m doing your Level Two report today‘ was imparted as I drove her to Grangemouth early one morning. Not a question, a statement . . . delivered that way because she knew that if I’d had any more warning, I wouldn’t have got out of bed.

‘Christine’s kindness to all was legendary. Not overt, but subtle.  A beautifully embroidered bookmark or card would quietly be put through a door or bag and always with a touching comment.

‘The thought that went into these not only exemplified her skill and imagination, but will now act and a special keepsake from a dear friend who will be sadly missed. No frills. No fuss. just genuine friendship.  Thank you for the journey.

Caroline Johnston

With thanks to Brenda, Caroline and Alistair Aitchison for help with this piece.



Tags: Christine Stoops, Field Official, Officials

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