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'Pied Piper' Named Country’s Top Volunteer Coach

Media Release

14 November, 2005

‘Pied Piper’ of Christchurch Named Country’s Top Volunteer Coach

From a record 3,200 nominations and 17 finalists from all over New Zealand, Mary Duggan has been named as Wattie’s Volunteer Coach of the Year for 2005.

National winner, Mary Duggan, a solo mum and full-time psychiatric nurse from Christchurch has taken out the top honour. Described by her nominator as a ‘pied piper’, Mary coaches numerous children in sports as diverse as netball, basketball, softball, touch, rugby, athletics, swimming and water polo.

Mary stood out to the judges as an outstanding volunteer coach.

Chair of the judging panel, Mike McHugh of SPARC said, “All 3,200 coaches nominated deserve to be thanked for their community spirit, but the final 17 and in particular Mary, were very special people. Mary epitomises volunteer coaching in that she is driven only by a desire to benefit others.”

At the national awards evening on Friday November 11th two special lifetime achievement awards were presented along with the national winner and two runners up. Details of each follow:

National winner

Mary is an advocate for getting kids into physical education, ensuring they have a chance to ‘give it a go’. Coaching sports in both winter and summer, Mary is often seen with children flocking around her and those close to her say she just can’t say no when asked to help children enjoy sport. Mary became involved in coaching around seven years ago and coaches at primary and secondary school level.
Her philosophy is simple, saying, “Kids need to be surrounded by positive people, they need people to look for the best in them and they need to be encouraged and work as a team, but it all has to be fun!”

Runners up

Barry Cleal AUCKLAND
Barry has been a volunteer coach at the Auckland Rowing Club since 1974. This season he coached 20 teams and devoted at least 50-hours a week of his own time.
Described by his nominators as a coach with wisdom and understanding, Barry stands out as having a high level of technical knowledge coupled with excellent people skills and a 100% altruistic commitment to coaching.

Peter Derrick NORTH SHORE
Peter is a passionate advocate of boxing training for troubled youth. He has dedicated his life to the sport and has made an incredible contribution to his local North Shore community. Peter was described as more than a boxing coach, “He is a friend, counsellor, mentor, a great role model and an unsung hero. Above all, Peter is a great New Zealander,” said one nominator.

Lifetime Achievement Awards

The following awards are made only when a volunteer coach with a longstanding community commitment emerges. This year, the judges have awarded this prestigious honour to two people.
They are:
Crispin Easterbrook THAMES
At 83 years old, Cris Easterbrook has been coaching for 55 years. A boxing coach, Cris has also coached rugby league and cycling. Having coached thousands of athletes the impact he has had on the local Thames community is described as immeasurable.

Kevin O’Brien KAWERAU
Kevin is a 70 year old veteran who has coached for nearly 50 years. He is renowned for going the extra mile, assisting players with their work and travel to help them get to games on time. Currently coaching netball in Kawerau, Kevin also works with paraplegic sports. His nominator said even if he’s told not to worry he’ll just laugh, and you know he’ll be there to help.

For the second year running a female volunteer coach from Christchurch has won the national award, with Anne Culpan of Christchurch South Intermediate School last year’s Wattie’s Volunteer Coach of the Year.

The judging panel consisted of chair Mike McHugh, SPARC coaching consultant who is also head coach of the NZ Tall Ferns; Don Tricker, SPARC team leader of coaching and world cup winning former Black Sox Coach; Adine Wilson, Silver Fern’s captain; Jeni Pearce, sports and health dietitian and Wattie’s Business Manager Tim Skellern.

The Wattie’s Volunteer Coach of the Year awards are a joint initiative between SPARC and Wattie’s. The awards aim to acknowledge grass-roots volunteer coaches that are making a difference in communities around New Zealand.

The national winner was awarded $5,000 towards coaching development and each runner up receives $3,000 towards their coaching development. Additional to the coaches’ prizes, three consumer prize draws were made from the 3,200 nominators. First prize was won by John Rakatau-Ross in Feilding who receives $2000 cash, and two runner-up prizes of $500 sporting gear for Josie Robinson of Onerahi Primary School, Whangarei and Antony McCullough of Albion Junior Cricket Club, Dunedin.

The winners were announced at a special awards dinner held in Auckland on November 11th.

Key facts:
- 17 Regional sports trusts
- A record 3,200 nominations
- More than 20 sports nominated
- 1 national winner
- 2 runners up
- 2 special lifetime achievement awards
- 365 cans of Wattie’s Baked Beans for all volunteer coach and consumer draw winners


Wattie’s Volunteer Coach of the Year, 2005
Fact Sheet
November, 2005

- The Wattie’s Volunteer Coach of the Year is a national awards programme that acknowledges the outstanding efforts of volunteer coaches around New Zealand. The nomination period ran from July 13 – August 24 this year.

- The awards are sponsored by SPARC (Sport and Recreation New Zealand) and Wattie’s and run through the 17 Regional Sports Trusts (RSTs) around New Zealand.

- 2005 saw the number of nominations double from 2004 with over 3100 nominations nationwide.

- Coaches were nominated from diverse areas of sports such as gymnastics, rugby, cricket, surf life saving, netball, dancing, martial arts, hockey and rowing.

- The 17 RSTs judged their local entries and decided on a regional winner.

- Regional awards events were held in September and October to announce the regional winners, usually at a breakfast with plenty of Wattie’s Baked Beans! The Regional winners received flights to the National Awards evening, a night’s accommodation in Auckland for themselves and a partner and a year’s supply of Wattie’s Baked Beans – that’s 365 cans.

- The 17 regional winners were judged by the national judging panel. The panel consisted of chair Mike McHugh, coaching consultant SPARC, who is also Head Coach to the NZ Tall Ferns; SPARC Senior Advisor High Performance Coaching and former Black Sox Coach Don Tricker; Silver Fern Adine Wilson; sports and health dietitian Jeni Pearce and Wattie’s General Manager of Marketing, Mike Pretty.

- The National Awards evening was held on Friday November 11th in Auckland. This was the official announcement of the national winner and two runners-up.

- The national winner receives $5,000 towards their own coaching development and the two runners-up each receive $3,000 towards their coaching development.

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