Grassroots Sports Awards 2013

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Volunteer Banana Cyclist

Palmerston North – On Friday, 20 September Sport Manawatu hosted the 2013 Grassroots Sports Awards at the Manawatu Golf Club. A sold out crowd attended the event as regional Sport Makers were recognized for their efforts with local sports clubs.

Winners included the following:

Super Volunteers Hall of Fame - 25 years of sport volunteering

2013 Inductees

Kathy Morton – (Striders): Kathy Morton is an important stalwart of the Manawatu Striders. Kathy has great energy and enthusiasm and is very actively involved in the club events, both as a participant and volunteer. Kathy does it all, from helping set up and pack up a walking/running course, doing event registrations to making cups of tea and everything in between. Kathy's energy and input belies her age and her involvement helps keep other club members and volunteers motivated and involved.


Dan Paki – (Rugby): Dan gives his time to the Feilding High School 1st XV rugby team with his fantastic managing skills , not only with game comments but goes far beyond with strapping, massaging, taking players to physio and also spending time with the boys getting to know them and who they are and what they want out of rugby.


Nancee Linney – (Swimming): Nancee attends all Manawatu run events and many club events throughout the year. Nancee's role encompasses a wide range of activities including putting together flyers, receiving entries, printing programs, running the event and supervising data input for the events. Both Nancee and her husband Les also transport a large amount of gear to events. Nancee has also officiated at National events. Nancee has given swimming in the Manawatu over 30 years of her service and has sadly decided to retire as of June 2013.


Jeanne O’Brien – (Rugby League): Jeanne has dedicated the last 26 years of her life into developing the Dannevirke Tigers Rugby League Club and Premier Team into the stronghold that it is today. Jeanne’s all round ability has been evident in orchestrating a community wide fundraising initiative, organising equipment and transport and managing the premier Dannevirke Tigers League team and the year 8 representative Netball team.


Club Categories


The Club Event of the Year category aims to recognise club achievements in organising and running events.

Winner: Manawatu Triathlon Club (Pedal Pushers Palmy I Tri’d The Tri Series)

The 2013 Pedal Pushers Palmy 'I Tri’d The Tri Kids' series involved children of ages 4-12 participating in five triathlon events on consecutive Monday nights in February/March. This was the 10th year of the event and consisted of 3378 participants with an average of 676 per race.

Finalists: Manawatu Cheerleading (Take the Stage), Bike Manawatu (Feilding Festival of Cycling), Marist Football Club (Arena Kids Summer Soccer)



The Athlete Development of the Year category aims to recognise club efforts in supporting athlete’s development and includes areas of performance, planning, nutrition, motivation, and mental preparation.

Winner: Palmerston North Athletic & Harrier Club

Palmerston North Athletic & Harrier Club has 210 members. Of those, 39 athletes represented the province, 31 represented the region and nine athletes represented New Zealand in the last year. Some other athletes were also selected in New Zealand teams but did not compete. PNAHC fully integrates junior athletes with seniors. This sees the juniors learn off many nationally ranked athletes who mentor the younger ones. Coaching is individually personalised regardless of ability and all the coaches work together to best compliment their athlete’s needs. PNAHC is one of the few clubs in the country that sees performances from club nights every Tuesday recognised as valid performances by the national association.

Finalists: Palmerston North Taekwon-Do Academy, Squash Gym Palmerston North, Bike Manawatu



The Fundraising Initiative of the Year category aims to recognise club fundraising efforts. Judging was based on the idea used, and the success of the initiative both financially and in terms of other outcomes achieved for the club.

Winner: Manawatu Lawn Tennis Club

Manawatu Lawn Tennis consists of 287 members and runs an annual open day with a concerted effort to raise funds to support junior tennis development.

The open day included many fundraising activities such as a club cake stall, BBQ, raffles and prizes.

The draw card event however was an attempted “ten thousand shot rally” by two of their members, Jono Spring and Bridget Dickins. The pair gathered sponsorship and donations in support of their attempt. The pair rallied for 3 hours before a minor mistake was made. The rally ended at 6,103 shots.

Finalist: Squash Gym Palmerston North, Manawatu Cheerleading (Zero Gravity)



The Participation Initiative of the Year category aims to recognise club efforts in increasing their participant numbers.

Winner: Manawatu Triathlon Club

Manawatu Triathlon Club consists of 320 members. This year the club hosted 28 events which gave them many options to put forward for nomination.

The best of the events that the Manawatu Triathlon Club hosted, in terms of participation, was the “Kids Tri Series”, which encourages children to try the sport.  This year saw the number of children participating grow by 510, reaching a total of 3,376.

Finalist: Levin Basketball Association, Squash Gym Palmerston North, Marist Football Club



This category aims to recognise club efforts in presenting itself to members and the general public in a professional and user friendly manner. The category includes communications, marketing, media promotions and how the club projects a welcoming image to new members.

Winner: Feilding Rugby Football Club (Fielding Yellows)

The Feilding Rugby Football Club, more commonly known as the “Fielding Yellows” has really focused on ensuring the club is presented in an appropriately professional manner on and off the field.

To provide a more welcoming atmosphere, Fielding Yellows’ club rooms went through a makeover, replacing floors and painting walls inside and out to match.

During the season the clubrooms were set up with a full bar and, in partnership with Feilding High School, a food shop was operated for all supporters and visiting clubs enabling a traditional hot meal for the after match.

Feilding Yellows have stepped up their online presence by utilising their website, e-newsletters, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, while also hosting number of social events to help their club members interact with the local community. The club has also begun to introduce club apparel.

Finalists: Palmerston North College Hockey, SquashGym Palmerston North, Manawatu Lawn Tennis, Red Sox Manawatu Sports Club, Manawatu Triathlon Club, Ruahine Amateur Football Club



The Sports Partner of the Year category aims to recognise organisations that support sport in our region. Partners cannot nominate themselves. They must be nominated by the club they support. The category recognises corporate partners/businesses that support your community events or initiatives to make them more successful.

Judging was based on factors such as the level of involvement the partner has with the club, the outcomes that the partner has helped the club achieve and the number of nominations from different clubs a partner gets.

Winner: Vautier Pharmacy

Vautier Pharmacy have been nominated by the Manawatu Triathlon Club and Manawatu Striders Inc. Vautier Pharmacy has been the main sponsor of Manawatu Triathlon Club for the past decade, in particular, supporting the Kids “I Tri’d the Tri” series’ and the Ladies Only Triathlon. This year, Vautier pharmacy donated 1,000 pairs of socks for both events. Lynne Vautier and staff always attend the kid’s tri events and in 2013 they participated in the Ladies Only Triathlon.

Vauitier pharmacy provides substantial cash assistance towards Manawatu Striders. More importantly Lynne Vautier has become a club member and a member of the events committee. Lynne’s input, enthusiasm and assistance to overall club activities has been outstanding. Vauiter Pharmacy actively participates and /or assists at events.

Vauiter Pharmacy allows Manawatu Striders to run events at competitive, affordable prices. Prizes, donations and the happy heart socks initiative all add to the value of events and have helped enormously to grow them.

Finalist: Massey University, RICOH, Inspire Net, New World Pahiatua, Property Brokers.


Volunteer Categories (Sport Makers)


The “Behind the Scenes” Volunteer category aims to recognise Sports Makers who have been nominated for their dedication and commitment to ensuring the smooth running of sport. This includes administrators, board or committee members and other “helpers”.

Winner: Karlyn Eales (Marist Junior Rugby, Palmerston North)

Karlyn has been with Marist Junior Rugby for the past 15+ years. She is the Convenor of the Club and is very passionate about each and every one of the young children that come along to play. Karlyn often does a huge number of thankless tasks with no hesitation, she gets around all the teams games every year and deals with hundreds of phone calls weekly.

This is Karlyn's final year of running the Marist Junior Rugby Club, the time, commitment, and dedication that Karlyn has poured into the role of Chairperson at Marist Junior Rugby is very admirable and all for the love of the children, game and the club.


Christene Brown (Manawatu Triathlon Club), John Whitehead (Massey University Rugby Club), Christine Barnes (Dannevirke High School)



The “Front Line” Volunteer category aims to recognise sports makers who have been nominated for their dedication and commitment to ensuring the smooth delivery of sport including coaches, officials and other game day “helpers”.

Winner: Thomas Kamura (Dannevirke Tiger's Under 15s Rugby League Team)

His rapport with the players and especially their families is of great admiration. The numerous amount of jobs Thomas commits to include: Travelling 16km's twice a week into town to run practices, picking players up from Pahiatua and Woodville and dropping them off, introducing rugby league to players who have never played in that code before, he raises finance through hangis to help minimise the cost of registrations, even though the products would come out of his freezer and pocket.

All Thomas wants to see is that young boys get a chance to play rugby league. In the team they learn not only rugby league, but integrity when representing their town, good family morals, confidence, discipline and the value of putting in 100% effort and seeing the rewards as a team.


Grant Dix (Palmerston North College Hockey Club), Robyn Ryder (Koputaroa School Netball), Sam Lowe (Freyberg and Massey Hockey)



The “All Rounder” Volunteer category aims to recognise sports makers who were nominated for their dedication and commitment through multiple roles both frontline and behind the scenes.

Winner: Sarah Geurtijens (Marist Netball Club, Palmerston North)

Sarah is not only the Club Captain for Marist Netball, which means she is in charge of 10 teams this year, she has also had to take on the role of coach to at least three of these teams. Sarah is the club administrator, on the club committee, runs trials and organises social events. Sarah organises umpires for every Saturday and if she cannot find umpires then she just volunteers herself. Sarah organises great club nights every month and tries really hard to get everyone involved. Sarah never complains about the work load and does it for the love of the club and the love of the game.

Finalists: Lincoln Charles (Ruahine Junior Football Club), Diane Farmer (Swimming Manawatu), Daniel Burr (Palmerston North College Hockey Club), Liz Kawana (Manawatu Softball Association), Jenny Curtis (Manawatu Lawn Tennis Club)


Main sport volunteer award:


This award goes to the most outstanding volunteer of all those nominated in the Sport Manawatu region.

Winner: Thomas Kamura

Thomas was chosen as the Regional Sport Maker of the Year because of the impact he has had in the community, the amount of time he has dedicated, the outstanding personal attributes he brings to sport and his tendency to go above and beyond his original duty. Thomas uses sport as a medium to teach children not only skills that they can use on the field but also a wealth of valuable life skills that extend past the sport and into their personal lives. Thomas not only goes the extra mile for the children in the community, he presents opportunities to those that would not necessarily have them without his help. The generosity shown through his fundraising initiatives is also a great example of what Thomas does purely for the love of the sport and children that participate.


Main Club Award:


The Sports Club of the Year award is the pinnacle of club based achievement in our regions Grassroots sport – it aims to recognise club efforts across all categories, and reward excellence in achieving community sport outcomes. This club uses a very wide range of different resources including signage, media releases, e-newsletters, website development, Facebook and twitter, media releases, interviews on the radio, event flier development and distribution to make sure that their club is always well presented and professional.

Winner: Manawatu Triathlon Club

This event is proudly sponsored by:

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