Vol­un­teers keep sport run­ning

Greg Loomans hon­oured for his work at Ki­hik­ihi Speed­way

Te Awamutu Courier - - News - BY COLIN THORSEN

Vol­un­teers are a sig­nif­i­cant part of com­mu­nity sport and with­out them many sports would sim­ply not be able to take place.

They can be found in all cor­ners of the sports world — blow­ing a whis­tle, coach­ing, bal­anc­ing the books or help­ing cook the sausages for the fundrais­ing bar­be­cue — each and ev­ery vol­un­teer plays a sig­nif­i­cant role in mak­ing sport hap­pen.

Sport Waikato re­cently recog­nised the con­tri­bu­tion Greg Loomans makes at his beloved McDon­ald’s Ki­hik­ihi Speed­way.

Re­becca Foy, Sport Waikato’s Waipa¯ District Co­or­di­na­tor, had the plea­sure of gift­ing him with his Vol­un­teer Sport Maker jacket.

Ki­hik­ihi Speed­way Club pres­i­dent, Ross Cress­well nom­i­nated Loomans in the Sport Waikato on­line Vol­un­teer Week cam­paign.

“Greg is a fan­tas­tic vol­un­teer for our club, his en­ergy and com­mit­ment to­wards this lit­tle non-profit mak­ing club is ab­so­lutely amaz­ing,” said Cress­well.

“He helps out through the week with grounds and main­te­nance, then on days we have a meet­ing he is one of the first to ar­rive. He does any­thing asked of him and uses his ini­tia­tive all day to help make for a safe and en­joy­able day. Greg is of­ten the last back into the clu­b­rooms.

“As far as I know the man has never raced but gives 110 per cent and has done for many years so that both com­peti­tors and spec­ta­tors can have many happy days at Ki­hik­ihi Speed­way.

“He runs his own small busi­ness, but still finds time to help out.”

The Sport Waikato team be­lieve it is im­por­tant to recog­nise vol­un­teer­ing and the place it has in keep­ing com­mu­ni­ties strong and healthy.

“Vol­un­teers ded­i­cate their own valu­able time to en­sure sport can take place for oth­ers, rather than for per­sonal ben­e­fit,” said Foy.

“They are spe­cial peo­ple who aren’t there for the credit or the praise, but it’s nice for us to be able to say thanks.

“We also work along­side clubs and or­gan­i­sa­tions to make sure they have the ca­pa­bil­ity and ed­u­ca­tion around vol­un­teer man­age­ment.”

Foy says this en­ables clubs to re­cruit and re­tain vol­un­teers by mak­ing them feel val­ued and ap­pre­ci­ated for the time and ef­fort they put into sport.

“This is es­pe­cially im­por­tant as some of the val­ues that mo­ti­vate peo­ple to vol­un­teer in sport and recre­ation are things like gen­eros­ity, love of sport, so­cial con­nec­tions and ap­pre­ci­a­tion,” she said.

“Vol­un­teers are the heart of com­mu­nity sport. They are of­ten the first peo­ple to ar­rive and the last ones to leave.”

Foy says if you’re an ath­lete, next time you’re out par­tic­i­pat­ing in your sport, try to re­mem­ber to thank the vol­un­teers — whether they are coaches, man­agers, of­fi­cials, or other helpers — for their help in mak­ing your sport hap­pen.”

Loomans was go­ing to wear his new jacket with pride to the next Ki­hik­ihi Speed­way com­mit­tee meet­ing.

Take the op­por­tu­nity to nom­i­nate for the Waipa Net­works District Sports www.sport­waikato.org.nz. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion con­tact Re­becca Foy waipa@sport­waikato.org.nz 027 475 7747.

Photo / Sup­plied

Tire­less McDon­ald’s Ki­hik­ihi Speed­way worker Greg Loomans dis­plays his Sport Waikato Vol­un­teer Sport Maker jacket.

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