Mata­mata ‘hero’ iden­ti­fied

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

As a com­pany that bases its ser­vice on the prin­ci­ples of ‘‘care, qual­ity and com­mu­nity’’, Visique’s winter mis­sion was ob­vi­ous. Set out to find car­ing heroes in ev­ery re­gion of the coun­try and make them fa­mous for their good­ness and kind­ness to oth­ers. And af­ter putting the word out through ra­dio ad­ver­tis­ing and posters and word-of-mouth through­out Visique’s 63- clinic na­tion­wide co­op­er­a­tive, the new hero of Mata­mata has been iden­ti­fied.

Linda Lee has been in­volved with Mata­mata Net­ball Cen­tre since her el­dest daugh­ter, Ken­dall, now 12, started play­ing net­ball seven years ago. Ms Lee is now the pres­i­dent of the club and coaches one of the rep­re­sen­ta­tive teams.

Un­der her lead­er­ship, this sea­son the cen­tre has more than 300 girls play­ing, with seven teams in the ju­nior league and 37 in the se­nior league.

Ms Lee’s week­ends are al­most en­tirely oc­cu­pied by net­ball. All three of her daugh­ters com­pete in the club league on Satur­day and the older two, Ken­dall and Grace, 10, are both rep­re­sen­ta­tive play­ers who travel to away games on Sun­days.

De­spite ded­i­cat­ing so much of her time to Mata­mata Net­ball Cen­tre over the past seven years, Ms Lee doesn’t play net­ball her­self but says she is happy to sup­port the cen­tre with the help of the ‘‘lovely ladies’’ on the com­mit­tee.

Ms Lee is in good com­pany as one of 348 peo­ple from 18 towns and 12 cities who will be named a lo­cal hero over the com­ing weeks. They range from Mur­ray Bar­clay, a teacher from Orewa in Auck­land who worked as a vol­un­teer fire­fighter, to Gaye Hoskin of Hamil­ton, who has vol­un­teered for Hospice Waikato for more than five years since leav­ing full-time work.

Like her fel­low heroes, Ms Lee was nom­i­nated by an ad­mir­ing ac­quain­tance, friend or fam­ily mem­ber who wanted the world to know about their cho­sen per­son’s good deeds.

Visique Mata­mata Vi­sion­care op­tometrist Mike Far­rell said: ‘‘This is our first lo­cal heroes cam­paign and we have been thrilled by the re­sponse and by how many peo­ple are per­ceived as heroes by those who nom­i­nated them.

‘‘The cam­paign was in­spired by the many anec­do­tal sto­ries we all hear about peo­ple who go out of their way to help and sup­port oth­ers – even when it seems they are the ones most de­serv­ing of help them­selves.

‘‘Some peo­ple seem to draw strength from giv­ing and we wanted to find those peo­ple in our com­mu­nity and of­fer them a to­ken of thanks and some recog­ni­tion on be­half of the many peo­ple who ben­e­fit and draw in­spi­ra­tion from them.

‘‘As a busi­ness that prides it­self on serv­ing the peo­ple of Mata­mata, we felt this was an ideal way to give back and cel­e­brate a hero in our midst,’’ Mr Far­rell said.

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