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Make Your Volunteer Coach A Star!

Make Your Volunteer Coach A Star!

Nominations open tomorrow for Wattie¡¦s Volunteer Coach of the Year Awards 2006

The search is on to discover New Zealand¡¦s star volunteer coaches. Wattie¡¦s Volunteer Coach of the Year awards, now in their third consecutive year, acknowledge that every volunteer coach is a star.

There are around 70,000 volunteer coaches helping New Zealand sports teams and individuals have a rewarding time with their sport. Last year 3,100 of these coaches were put forward to the Wattie¡¦s Volunteer Coach of the Year awards, and this year¡¦s programme is set to be bigger than ever.

Sponsors SPARC and Wattie¡¦s are committed to discovering and recognising even more of these outstanding individuals.

Mike McHugh, national coach consultant with SPARC¡¦s performance division, and chief judge of the awards says, ¡§We have so many excellent volunteer coaches in New Zealand and the countless hours they dedicate to help young sportspeople reach their goals is terrific. But we all know that coaching goes beyond calling the shots from the sideline. Many coaches also act as friends, counsellors and chauffeurs to the athletes ¡V the awards are a chance to let these stars shine.¡¨

Mike Pretty, Wattie¡¦s General Manager of Marketing, says the awards highlight the importance of volunteer contribution in the community and Wattie¡¦s is proud to have the opportunity to recognise the efforts of the sporting world¡¦s unsung heroes.

¡§It is a privilege to be involved in these awards as it is so important for volunteer coaches to be recognised for all that they do. Although there can be only one national winner, all nominated coaches are deserving of the title. Often nominating is recognition enough for the coaches who are thrilled, simply to be acknowledged.¡¨

The 17 Regional Sports Trusts across New Zealand promote the awards to local sports clubs, schools and teams as they search for their own Regional Wattie¡¦s Volunteer Coach of the Year. The 17 regional winners then go on as finalists vying for the title of National Wattie¡¦s Volunteer Coach of the Year, considered by a panel of well-known judges from the ranks of sports coaching and playing.

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

Last year¡¦s national winner, Mary Duggan from Christchurch, was described by her nominator as a ¡¥Pied Piper¡¦ as she was followed by children wherever she went.

Mary says that being nominated was a huge honour, ¡§The awards are fantastic and I was so pleased to be recognised for simply doing something I love! The children got real enjoyment by being part of my success and the title of Wattie¡¦s Volunteer Coach of the Year is something I will be proud of forever.¡¨

How to nominate:
„X The Wattie¡¦s Volunteer Coach of the Year nominations are open from July 5 to August 16.

„X Instant nominations can be made online at

„X Entry forms are available to download on both Wattie¡¦s and SPARC websites or from Regional Sports Trusts.

„X Awards will be given to 17 regional volunteer coach winners, two national runners up and an overall national winner who receives $5,000 to support his/her coaching development at a special awards ceremony on November 10.

„X Everyone who makes a nomination is entered into the draw to win one of two prizes of $1,000 cash or one of two prizes of $500 sporting equipment for their school or club.


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