Steve Stoute has been praised for his contribution as Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committee ©BOA

Barbados' Steve Stoute has been declared honorary life President of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) after stepping-down as head of the body he has presided over since it was founded in 2003.

Stoute was replaced as President on an interim basis by Trinidad and Tobago's Brian Lewis during an Annual General Meeting in Guadeloupe last week after honouring a commitment to relinquish the role following Rio 2016.

The official, who is also expected to step down next year as President of the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA), played a key role in the formation of the Caribbean Caucus of National Olympic Committees in 1999 before CANOC was established four years later.

He claimed he was proud to have watched "his baby" develop.

The 74-year-old is one of the world's longest serving sports administrators, having been appointed secretary general of the BOA in 1968.

"Mr Stoute’s legacy is highlighted by the inclusion of Associate Membership Articles in the Statutes of the Central American and Sports Organisation (CACSO) and the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) that opens the way for the French, English and Dutch territories of the Caribbean to participate in the Central American and Caribbean and Pan American Games in the future," a CANOC release claimed.

Brian Lewis has replaced Steve Stoute as interim head of the Caribbean sports body ©TTOC
Brian Lewis has replaced Steve Stoute as interim head of the Caribbean sports body ©TTOC

"His mantra was always, 'the Olympic Movement must be about inclusion, not exclusion'.

"The CANOC Academy has facilitated several capacity-building workshops, first in tandem with the Organising Committee of Toronto 2015 and later with the Peruvian Olympic Committee. 

"Every CANOC member has benefited from these workshops.

"During his tenure at the helm of CANOC, Mr Stoute raised the profile of the organisation and earned the recognition, respect and support of the leadership of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), PASO and CACSO. 

"He has been an indefatigable fighter for the maintenance of close and progressive working relationships."

Away from sport, Stoute spent 49 years working for Barbadian financial services company Sagicor Life before retiring in 2009.

In May 1997 he was awarded the IOC's Olympic Order of Merit for services to sports administration.

Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee President Lewis Lewis is now expected to serve in the interim Presidential position for the next four months until fresh elections take place at an Extraordinary General Assembly scheduled for Barranquilla in Colombia in February.