Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee (CISNOC) president Hugh Graham said that the board had no hesitation in recommending Tierney for an Order of Merit award at their AGM on March 15.
What they didn’t realise was that the CGF executive boards planned to award Tierney, affectionately known as JT, with the honorary life membership, which he received on Friday (CI Time).
“The Cook Islands sporting community and community at large can be proud that the CGF have recognised a fellow Cook Islander’s extended time of sporting service both nationally and internationally over a 40-year period,” Graham said.
Tierney was an executive board member and Oceania Regional Vice President of the Commonwealth Games Federation from 1998 through to 2008.
He was also chairman of the 2014 Commonwealth Games Evaluation Commission and a director of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Cooperation.
“John has been a tireless champion of sports both nationally and internationally and has held a number of key positions in relation to the Federation in over 20 years of commitment to the Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee,” CGF president Louise Martin said when presenting Tierney with the award.
“Twenty years in multisport with the Commonwealth Games and the Pacific Games commitment has brought John the challenges of working with a wide range of nationalities, personalities and skills.
“John, on behalf of the Commonwealth Games Federation, I have the honour of awarding you honorary life membership.”
Graham said that JT’s response to him was that he did all this for Cook Islands athletes, and his receiving of the award was also on behalf of all Cook Islands athletes.
“My years as a CGF executive board member were a very rewarding period of my business and sports career,” said Tierney, who has lived in the Cook Islands for five decades.
“It enabled me to contribute to the global expansion, professionalism and influence of sport in the Pacific and the delivery of benefits to the global sporting family.
“These values and principles have been a shared motivation for me in my lifetime engagement as a volunteer in Oceania Sport throughout its vast region of Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand.
“It has been a pleasure and privilege to participate in the achievements of the Commonwealth sports family.”