Olympic role for RNLI Exmouth Deputy Coxswain
Volunteer Deputy Coxswain Steve Hockings-Thompson is to be one of 8,000 Torchbearers on Sunday 20 May in Torbay. His nomination was based on his involvement with the RNLI over 18 years.
Steve, 46 is to run approximately 400 metres along the proposed route on the second day of the torch’s journey to the London 2012 Olympic Games. He is due to run along Babbacombe Road (between Perinville Road and St. Anne’s Road) at 5.06pm. Watching him along the route will be his wife, Louise and their two teenage daughters.
An Exmothian born and bred, Steve has always worked with boats and his selflessness to help people working out at sea led him to join the crew at Exmouth RNLI. His wife’s Great, Great Grandfather Henry Hockings was the Coxswain between 1939 and 1943, during the Second World War. Speaking about the changes he’s seen in the RNLI over the 18 years he’s experienced, Steve said:
‘It’s definitely changed for the best as it’s more competency-based training now. We all used to just go out to sea and do an exercise, but now everybody’s got to be competent up to a certain standard. This means a better quality crew from the Coxswain’s viewpoint and is far more effective. This is important since crew are coming in from non-boating backgrounds, whereas when I started we all worked within the boat and sailing industry.’
Steve himself took the trials for sailing events for the 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games but unfortunately failed to qualify. He’s worn the GB vest for long course triathlon, competing in the world championships in Nice in 1995. Steve’s also completed five Ironman triathlons, various marathons and competed in a half Ironman triathlon in Clearwater, Florida in 2006.
Steve enjoys racing along roads throughout Devon and Cornwall on his bike when he’s not competing – a great practice for when his pager goes off and he needs to get down to the boathouse quickly.