by Betsy Beals
Dr. Leroy T.Walker will always be remembered as an advocate for physical education, but most of all for his support of Track and Field. My Dad was a track star in Durham in 1917 and I grew up in Durham attending Durham High School in the sixties when schools were being integrated and yes Dr. Walker made sure all those of us interested in Track and Field were recognized no matter what gender or race.
Many of you remember the only sports girls could participate in the early 60's was GAA Field Days and yes I love every one that I participated or was involved in. As GAA President, I was able to lead other girls at DHS Class of 1962-64 to victory at Greensboro, High Point and other field Days.
When I graduated from UNC-CH and I became immediately involved in NCAHPERD. Because the convention was at UNC-CH, I was able to work with Dr. Walker and he was the connector to me when I took a job at Ravenscroft. Next year, along with George Williams of St Augustine's , Dr. Walker provided me, along with George, excellent advice regarding Junior AAU Track Meet for our after school club that Jeff Galloway and I had at Ravenscroft.
These first student track members at Paul Derr Track tried their hearts out to be beginning Olympians, as Dr. Walker and George encouraged them. As a beginning track teacher/coach, I was so proud knowing they had done their best, but most of all, my training coach had been someone I had admired when I was in Durham as a student, and that was Dr. Leroy T. Walker.
Years later, we shared an early flight to a National AAHPERD Convention and I told him about this occasion, and how he had made a difference in my students. I was a presenter at this convention and I realized that he had again affected my professionalism. I celebrated him again as I ate breakfast at The Leroy T. Walker Breakfast with many other professionals.
I have been truly blessed to have known our Dr. Walker and my regret is that I was not able to see him this last month as I had planned. Dr. Cary Hughley had helped me arrange a visit.