Les Martyn can be considered to be one of Australia’s most influential sports administrators.
In 1976, he was instrumental in the formation of the Confederation of Australian Sport (CAS) formed, following the poor performance of the Australian team at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. He, along with Wayne Reid and Sir Arthur George, met with the then Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser to seek more funding for sport from the Government.
CAS was formed with Reid as it’s inaugural president, George as vice president, Martyn as chairman of the Development Committee and member on the Government Liaison Committee, and Garry Daly as secretary general.
CAS represented all national sports, undoubtedly the strongest sports lobbyist group, and was influential in the establishment of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra.
Martyn replaced George as vice president and was appointed president in 1983 when Reid resigned, serving in that position until 1987. Martyn backed the establishment of The Sport Australia Hall of Fame and was responsible for linking all state sports bodies and Governments to form the Coaches Association and is credited with establishing the coaches accreditation program. Martyn himself was actively involved in strength coaching.
Apart from CAS, Martyn also served as chairman of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association for 11 years and played an integral part of the organisation and running of the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games. He was the world governor of the World Masters Games Association, member of the International Board of Governors of Sport, was the inaugural chairman of the Coaches Association of Australia, vice president of the International Weightlifting Federation and president of the Australian Weightlifting Federation. He was twice chief de mission of the Australian Olympic weightlifting teams, and three times chief de mission of the Australian Commonwealth Games weightlifting teams.
In 1978 Martyn was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his service to sport.