The usual ebullience and vivacity of the annual Colgate Women’s Games which concluded earlier this month was overshadowed somewhat by the recent passing of its visionary leader and founder, Frederick D. Thompson, Esq. who was laid to rest last week, Thursday, Feb. 7.
Friends and family gathered at Brown Memorial Baptist Church on Washington Avenue in Brooklyn to pay their respect to Thompson who passed away Tuesday, Jan. 22. He was interned and laid to rest in Evergreens Cemetery, also in Brooklyn.
Thompson, 85, an accomplished attorney, was born May 21, 1933, and grew up and resided in Brooklyn. He was a graduate of Boys High, City College and St. John’s University Law School.
Thompson was a military veteran and a U.S. Olympic coach who became a strong advocate for equity in athletic scholarships, events and participation for young women. His 40-year career as founder and coach of Brooklyn’s renowned Atoms Track Club, established in 1963, inspired the creation of the Colgate Women’s Games in 1973, an annual track and field competition held in Brooklyn that thousands of young women participate in each year.
It was Thompson’s lifelong mission and commitment to empower girls and women to achieve personal, athletic and academic success through regular participation in well-organized sports competitions.
The Colgate Women’s Games is the nation’s largest amateur track series open to all girls from elementary school through college and beyond, free of charge. Competitors participate in preliminary meets and a semi-finals to determine finalists who compete for trophies and educational grants.
In a prepared message fondly honoring Thompson’s lifetime of contributions and commitment to women’s track and field and to the Colgate Women’s Games, it sincerely stated, “We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to know and work with such an extraordinary man. He has given us all reasons to smile. We will miss him dearly!”