OLYMPIC hockey player Grant Boyce will step down as WA Institute of Sport chairman at the end of the month after 12 years in the role.
The Nedlands accountant joined the board in 1999 after being approached by the late Wally Foreman, who was the executive director at the time.
“He approached me because they wanted financial skills on the board and I knew Wally from my hockey playing days when he was a journo,” Boyce said.
“I was very fortunate to take over from Neil McKerracher (as chairman in 2003) and WAIS was in good shape.
“WAIS was set up in 1984, so it had been in operation for a long time but sport was not as professional as it is today, when there’s a lot more science behind it.
“Sport like everything has progressed and become more professional and WAIS has had to change and adapt.”
Boyce, who represented WA from 1976 and made the Australian team the following year, competing at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, helped launch the new $33.73 million WAIS High Performance Centre in April.
But he nearly missed witnessing the milestone as chairman after approaching then sport minister Terry Waldron four years ago about stepping down to rejuvenate the board.
Waldron convinced him to serve one more term to see out the completion of the new building.
Boyce said his most memorable moments were watching “athletes in our system achieve what they want to achieve, like gold medals and world championships”.
He named cyclist Ryan Bailey, pole vaulter Steve Hooker and javelin thrower Kim Mickle as standout performers during his time in the chair.
“That’s the reward: seeing athletes come in young and come out with world championships, podium finishes and gold medals,” Boyce said.
The new chairman will be announced at the end of the month.