Although he was a successful businessman and an accomplished athlete in his own right, Whitfield Frederick Hayward—universally known by his boyhood nickname of “Chummy”—is best remembered as one of the founding fathers of Bermuda’s Olympic movement and a philanthropist who supported a wide range of sporting and community causes.
In 1934, at age 22, Hayward, along with fellow swimmers John King and Jim Murray, started the move for Bermuda to enter the Olympic Games for the first time. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) granted approval of the formation of the Bermuda Olympic Committee (now the Bermuda Olympic Association) on February 13, 1936, with leading businessman Sir Howard Trott as its first president.
Hayward remained committed to the Olympic movement throughout his life. He served as president of the BOA from 1960-1972 and wore a gold ring engraved with the Olympic emblem from 1936 until his death.
His office at J. S. Vallis and Co. on Woodland’s Road, Pembroke, was a virtual sporting museum, full of Olympic and sporting memorabilia from around the world, along with numerous awards, letters and tributes.
Such was his reputation that Jesse Owens, the legendary American athlete whom Hayward had befriended at the Berlin Games, was the guest speaker at a BOA testimonial dinner held in his honour in 1973.