Becoming a member of Maryhill Harriers in 1906, George Dallas was an athlete of unsurpassable versatility, winning races at all distances from 100 yards to 10 miles at the highest level. He was equally at home on the track and over the country - a highlight of his career being his win in the Scottish Championships at 440 yards. He was also a prolific winner of handicap events, more often than not running from the virtual scratch mark.
After serving in the First World War in 1914-18 in the Royal Garrison Artillery, George, as Brigade Sports Officer, won the Second Army Cross Country Championships in Cologne from over 1000 competitors.
On returning to "Civvy Street", George then turned his hand to the administrative side of the sport and swiftly became the Honorary Secretary of the Scottish Cross Country Union, a post which he held for an unprecedented period of 40 years. During this time, George organised no less than 6 International Cross Country Championships, which brought great credit to Scottish Cross Country running. At the same time, for a period of 26 years, he was also Western District Secretary of the S.A.A.A.
George's tremendous contribution to Scottish athletics was also recognised when he was elected President of the S.A.A.A in 1950, the S.C.C.U in 1961 and the International C.C.U in 1952. George was also the athletics correspondent for many newspapers, including the Glasgow Herald.
His effort were finally crowned by the award of an M.B.E in 1962 for services to Scottish athletics.
To keep alive George Dallas's name and honour, his Daughter, Mrs Nancy G. Dallas Crane initiated the George Dallas Memorial Trust in 1982.
The purpose of the trust was, initially, to help provide assistance to deserving young Scottish athletes, male and female, for training, coaching, travelling or equipment. Towards this end, many individual grants were awarded to athletes covering the length and breadth of Scotland. In order to comply with the role of a charitable organisation (a status achieved by the Trust in 1994), the Trust had to change the thrust of its awards. And individual grants to athletes were phased out, replaced by grants supporting more general education and coaching matters, training of officials, etc, and organising participatory courses for physically and socially disadvantaged young athletes.
Such events have been funded (in whole, or in part) by the Trust in all areas of Scotland, from Stornoway to Dumfries, and further events including the Coaches Conference and Disability Education Courses are in the pipeline in conjunction with scottishathletics.
In addition to the above activities, the Trust annually awards the George Dallas memorial Trophy to the person or persons who in the judgement of the Trustees, have achieved distinction in, or made a material contribution to, cross country, road running, track and field or hill running in Scotland in the preceding calendar year, whether they be athletes, administrators, coaches or otherwise involved in the sport. Previous recipients of the awards include Allan Wells, Yvonne Murray, Liz McColgan, Tom McKean, Tommy Boyle.
scottishathletics remains extremely grateful to the George Dallas Memorial Trust for its continued support of Coach Education in Scotland, and this weekend, for their support of the Coaches Conference in particular.
Anyone requiring further information or wishing to make a donation to the Trust should write to Mr R.L.McSwein, 56 Atholl Drive, Giffnock, Glasgow G46 6QP.