Volunteers rewarded at awards night

By Staff reporter

The 2012 Sport NZ Sport Volunteer Awards were awarded at an evening hosted by Sport Bay of Plenty at Kiwi360 in Te Puke on Friday night.

Marcus Reynolds from Sport New Zealand and guest speaker Sheryl Dawson, CEO Netball Bay of Plenty and CEO Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, provided inspiring speeches celebrating the value of volunteers.

This year the awards were expanded from recognising only volunteer coaches to all 800,000 volunteers at the heart of community sport, referees, administrators, fundraisers, kit-washers, and coaches.

Regional award winners were decided by each of the 17 regional sports trusts in New Zealand, with the 428 Bay of Plenty nominations once again of a very high quality.

"We were amazed at the depth and breadth of talent amongst our local volunteers and the contribution they are making to the Bay of Plenty sporting community,'' Coaching Team Leader at Sport Bay of Plenty, Dave Clarke said.

"It was very humbling seeing what these people in our region are putting into sport, their clubs and into their communities. They're the ones refereeing, washing uniforms, fundraising, keeping clubs running, they're the Mums and Dads coaching teams of kids on Saturday mornings.''

It was impossible for judges to look past the 17 nominations received for Sport NZ Sport Volunteer Award regional winner Lucian Clark from Tauranga.

"Lucian Clark, 15 years old, loves sport," one of Lucian's nominations read.

"Unfortunately he is not able to compete at the highest level at the moment. He picked up a rare disease about a year ago, due to a burst appendix, and this is still in his blood system. This tires him and makes him feel jaded quickly. He can't be too active because he'll get worse again. He had a lousy year, not what a healthy boy of 15 should have.

``Despite his situation he still managed to coach a Year 5 hockey team and Year 7/8 Intermediate hockey team. He really makes an effort to come to every practice and game and coaches these teams with great passion and dedication. The kids really love it. He also coaches a Year 5 cricket team and is a referee for the Tauranga Hockey Association. I believe the dedication and effort he makes to help young kids to grow in their sports is quite  xceptional for a boy of his age and with his current health. He really deserves a medal.''

The Bay of Plenty region should be extremely proud of all the volunteer nominees, finalists and winners, who are all  inspiring individuals that are consistently going the extra mile. They put their hand up to help and it's been great to recognise their efforts with these awards.

Each winner received $250 gift vouchers from Rebel Sport.

Thanks go to Sport NZ and MoreFM for their assistance in supporting these awards.

Regional Winner:

Lucian Clark (Tauranga) - Cricket/Hockey/Umpiring


Ann Whyte (Whakatane) - Gymsports

Lucian Clark (Tauranga) - Cricket/Hockey/Umpiring

Paul Higgins (Bay of Plenty wide) - Football


Ang Hays-Johnson (Mount Maunganui) - Netball

Ann Whyte (Whakatane) - Gymsports

Carlene Macrae (Tauranga) - Golf

Char Niles (Tauranga) - Squash

Crawford Simpson (Tauranga) - Football

Dalena Rochat (Pahoia)  Gymnastics

Dave Donaldson (Rotorua) - Mountain Biking

David Loughlin (Tauranga) - Motorsport

George Grant (Mount Maunganui) - Football

Greg Stewart (Rotorua) - Rugby

Gwenda Ruegg (Whakatane) - Swimming

Helen Brown (Tauranga) - Football

Ian Heath (Tauranga) - Football

Irene Law (Rotorua) - Triathlon/Multisport

Jason Bellm (Taupo) - Football

Jody Earp (Opotiki) - Gymnastics

John Lee (Rotorua) - Cycling

John Tuki (BOP Wide) - Parafed/Table Tennis

Jordan Biggs (Whakatane) - Gymnastics

Kea Lippiatt (Te Puna) - Hockey

Ken Lewis (Tauranga) - Tennis

Lara Wild (Rotorua) - Tennis

Lisa Mahon (Matua) - Netball

Lucian Clark (Tauranga) - Cricket/ Hockey/Umpiring

Maania Wi-Kaitaia (Rotorua)  Basketball

Mary Bieleski (Tauranga) - Bowls

Melanie Carlson (Murupara) - Netball

Paul Higgins (BOP Wide) - Football

Paul van der Salm (Papamoa) - Football

Rachael Beresford (Rotorua) - Rugby League

Ray Lewis (Bethlehem) - Badminton

Rinus Adriaansz (Rotorua) - Athletics

Steph McHale (Rotorua) - Triathlon

Steve Harvey (Katikati)  - Football

Sue Hunter (Rotorua)  - Football

Taneta Riki (Whakatane) - Netball

Tania Fisher (Opotiki) - Gymnastics

Tony Chedwiggan (Otumoetai) - Football

Tony Jackson (Rotorua) - Badminton

- Bay of Plenty Times

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