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More School Coaches Now Eligible For Awards

Primary And Intermediate School Coaches Now Eligible For Awards

MEDIA RELEASE 17 July 2000

Embargoed until July 17

PRIMARY AND INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL COACHES NOW ELIGIBLE FOR AWARDS

Demand from primary and intermediate school sports people who want to say 'thanks coach' has led to the Wattie's Baked Beans Most Valuable Coach (MVC) Awards extending eligibility.

Entries open today (July 17) for the MVC Awards, which acknowledge grassroots coaches and their contribution to helping young athletes along the sporting pathway. The Hillary Commission's head of Coaching and Sport Development, Keith Mair says coaches at primary and intermediate level have a huge influence on how young people approach sport later in life.

"It is the coaching at this level which is so influential in shaping young people's life long attitudes to sport. Coaches are role models to their young players, they provide leadership, motivation and guidance. It is vital that these coaches are supported and recognised for the important role they play in the development of these attitudes. It is often said that our very best coaches should be coaching at junior level. The response to the Wattie's Baked Beans MVC Awards show that in many cases they do," says Mr Mair.

The Hillary Commission estimates around 28,000 adults take part in coaching primary and intermediate school students in New Zealand, and 21,500 in secondary school coaching. In total, it is estimated that 70% of the 71,000 coaches in New Zealand are school coaches. Wattie's Baked Beans run the MVC Awards in partnership with the Hillary Commission and the Regional Sports Trusts.

"To ensure we acknowledge the huge contribution these thousands of primary and intermediate school coaches make, the Wattie's Baked Beans MVC Awards are now also encouraging entries from this level," says Mr Mair.

In the past two years, the MVC Awards have been promoted to secondary school and club level coaches. This year younger players, their friends and family will be actively encouraged to nominate primary and intermediate level coaches.

"This is the MVC Awards third year and the aggressive promotion of primary and intermediate level coaches reflects the momentum of the Awards. The extension is based on the successes of the MVC Awards in '98 and '99. This success, coupled with the demand from younger sportspeople to be involved, has led to the change," says Mr Mair.

"The reward for most coaches comes from the satisfaction of seeing their players improve and the enjoyment they get from improving. However, it is very important that they are reminded that the community appreciates their contribution," says Mr Mair.

"Nominating your coach in the Wattie's Baked Beans MVC Awards is one way to thank them for their hard work and is a step in the right direction. It reminds players to think about the time and energy committed by their coach," says Mr Mair.

Nominations for the MVC Awards are open from July 17 to August 25 for coaches at school or club level. Anyone currently coaching at school or club level, in any sport, may be nominated. Representative and paid coaches are not eligible for entry.

Entry forms are available from your local sports trust, school or sports club, visiting www.hillarysport.org.nz or by calling 0800 MVC BEANS (0800 682 23267).

Wattie's Baked Beans work with the Hillary Commission and the Regional Sports Trusts to find 17 Regional MVC winners who then go forward for the National MVC Award. A national judging panel convenes in October to select the National MVC Award winner.

There are fabulous prize packages for the Regional and National Wattie's Baked Beans MVC Awards winners as well as those who make a nomination. Also, in a further alteration to the MVC Awards, schools and sports clubs now have a chance to win as well.

For further information please contact

Keith Mair or Sue Chalmers Hillary Commission, phone 04 472 8058 Susie Cropper Heinz Wattie's Australasia, phone 09 308 5126

Issued by Network Communications (Sarah Williams and Andrea Thuell) phone 09 379 3154.

ENDS

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