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Search Is On For Country¡¦s Top Volunteer Coach

Uncovering The Country¡¦s Top Volunteer Coach

The search is on!

Today officially marks the opening of the search for New Zealand¡¦s top volunteer coach. An annual event, Wattie¡¦s Volunteer Coach of the Year uncovers super coaches from all corners of the country.

With an estimated 70,000 volunteer coaches out there, there has never been a better time to say ¡¥thanks coach¡¦ and nominate your coach.

Co-sponsors SPARC (Sport and Recreation New Zealand) and Wattie¡¦s are committed to the awards and want to see even more coaches nominated than last year¡¦s huge 1,500 entries.

Mike McHugh, national coach consultant with SPARC¡¦s performance division says the value of the awards is significant.

¡§These awards do more than find a winner, they reward all those people that dedicate their time and energy to giving people a great sporting experience. Everyone who is nominated is very deserving and is a coach because they love it, so a simple thank you means a lot to them.¡¨

All 17 Regional Sports Trusts will be promoting the awards to local sports clubs, schools and teams as they uncover their own Regional Wattie¡¦s Volunteer Coach of the Year. The regional winners will then go forward to be selected for the national winner by a panel of well-known judges from the ranks of sports coaching, playing and nutrition.

The Wattie¡¦s Volunteer Coach of the Year awards are open to all volunteer coaches including club coaches, school coaches and anyone coaching at a non-representative level.

Mike Pretty, Wattie¡¦s General Manager of Marketing says the awards are an initiative Wattie¡¦s is proud to be involved in.

¡§For Wattie¡¦s it is great to be involved in these awards because they mean a lot to people in local communities. I¡¦d encourage kids and players who have volunteer coaches to make the effort to nominate them this year ¡V it only takes a few minutes and really does make a difference.¡¨

Last year¡¦s national winner, Christchurch teacher Anne Culpan, shows just what dedication it takes to be a great coach. With a list of sports coached that includes hockey, basketball, volleyball, line dancing, gymnastics, Kapa Haka, cross country, Latin dance and swimming, Anne¡¦s commitment shines through. On average Anne spends 25-30 hours per week beyond her normal teaching hours ensuring that children have a positive sports experience.

Being recognised with the award was very special for Anne.

¡§The awards were great. I felt really honoured to be recognised as a volunteer coach. We just get out there and do our thing and don¡¦t think about it ¡V we do what we have to do to create the best experience for our players, so it¡¦s great to be acknowledged.¡¨

The Wattie¡¦s Volunteer Coach of the Year awards nomination period runs from July 13 to August 24 and is open to anyone currently coaching at a school or club level (but not representative level).

Instant nominations can now be made online at Printed entry forms are also available on both the Wattie¡¦s and SPARC websites or from Regional Sports Trusts. Awards will be given to 17 regional volunteer coach winners, two runners up and an overall winner who receives $5,000 to support their coaching development, in a special awards ceremony on November 11th. All nominators are entered into the draw to win a prize of $2000 cash or two prizes of $500 sporting equipment for their school or club.

ENDS ¡V Fact sheet follows

Wattie¡¦s Volunteer Coach of the Year 2005


„X The search for New Zealand¡¦s super volunteer coaches has begun.

„X The awards are supported by SPARC, Wattie¡¦s and Regional Sports Trusts all over New Zealand.

„X The competition runs from Wednesday July 13th to Wednesday August 24th.

„X It is easier than ever before to nominate - instant nominations can be made online at

„X 17 Regional Wattie¡¦s Volunteer Coach winners will be selected by Regional Sports Trusts. A National winner and two runners up will be selected by a well-respected judging panel.

„X The awards are open to all volunteer coaches including club coaches, school coaches and anyone coaching at a non-representative level.

„X There are approximately 70,000 people in voluntary coaching roles - an estimated 70% are school coaches.

„X The prize pack includes prizes for coaches and nominators, including:

National winner - $5,000 towards coaching development

2 runners-up - $3,000 each towards coaching development

17 Regional winners - Sporting apparel

NominatorsOne prize of $2,000 cash and two prizes of $500 worth of sports gear for a selected club or school will be drawn.

All winners A year¡¦s supply of Wattie¡¦s Baked Beans (that¡¦s 365 cans)!

„X The national final is on Friday November 11th where the national Wattie¡¦s Volunteer Coach for 2005 will be announced.

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