At some point, we all need a little nudge of encouragement. Just one person to say "I believe in you" and then guide you to reach your goals. For many, Mark Edmonds was that person. The training legend worked with big names in the country's top sports teams but his heart was always in Rotorua. He filled the lives of all his athletes with motivation but that also meant when he died suddenly last year, a gaping hole was left. Today, Rotorua Girls' High School have used their grief to create a way to remember Edmonds for years to come.
In honour of the caring coach who gave his time to many, Rotorua Girls' High School have rededicated their school field and new scoreboard to the man who gave nothing but his all to others.
With dark clouds holding back a downpour, the scoreboard was unveiled this afternoon and the sombre crowd of about 80 cheered.
Mark Edmonds is a name known to many: the man who gave his time to athletes around Rotorua for nothing, with no judgement and a lot of faith in each person.
Edmonds was the fitness trainer of the school's first XV and sevens teams, among the array of training he did around Rotorua.
In 2017 he was awarded a Queen's Service Medal for 30 years of training Rotorua athletes as a volunteer.
Edmonds began his training career with long distance runners, but as his portfolio of sports grew, so did his reputation.
His repertoire included the All Blacks player Caleb Ralph and the Black Ferns' Honey Hireme but Rotorua always held his heart.
He began his time with Girls' High in 2000 in training career cross country students and moved to a full-time position of groundskeeping and coaching in 2006.
At just 76, his sudden and tragic death on June 11 last year left a gaping hole in the sporting community in Rotorua and as with many others.
His daughter, Deborah, flew from her home in Perth today to be at the rededication and with the heartbroken community her father left behind.
"I'm one of the many that loved him, I'm just lucky enough he was my father," she told the Rotorua Daily Post .
She said her grief had been made easier seeing how much her father was loved.
"He did so much for the community for so many years and never asked for anything, so humble," she said.
The school was his anchor and kept him "young and vibrant" especially after his wife Cathy, who also worked at the school, died in 2013.
Speaking to the crowd, Carolyn Katu said the board was needed not only for the game but a way to help the school deal with the grief and remember his legacy.
Katu is the teacher in charge of rugby and the first XV manager, worked alongside Edmond who was the fitness trainer.
"It's not a headstone but it can be a place where you can come and reflect," she said.
Speaking to the Rotorua Daily Post , Katu said the first XV team motto was #4KORO which was printed on their team hoodies.
"Personally, it's been a tough year without Mark. Every game, every training is a reminder of what we are missing," she said.
Wairu Lloyd was one of the girls Edmonds trained and said honouring Edmonds like this would only push her to play harder.
"He was more of our koro, more of a father figure," she said.
His legacy ran through the veins of the school and the girls still trained at 6am on Fridays doing exactly what Edmonds had taught them.