Begg gets two life awards

The Timaru Herald - - SPORT - STU PIDDINGTON

Ti­maru speed skat­ing guru Bill Begg has hon­oured with two life mem­ber­ships within a week.

The first was when the South Can­ter­bury Rollers Sports Club gave one to Bill and his wife Ch­eryl for their amaz­ing ser­vices.

Seven days later the New Zealand Fed­er­a­tion of Roller Sports also hon­oured the 70-yearold Bill.

The Beggs have been a key com­po­nent of the re­vival of speed skat­ing in Ti­maru, ded­i­cat­ing count­less hours to coach­ing and sup­ply­ing the vi­sion for a new track and clu­b­rooms.

Bill Begg started his ca­reer in Ti­maru and has spent his life ded­i­cated to the sport.

His CV is impressive hav­ing at­tended 40 world cham­pi­onships in some of­fi­cial ca­pac­ity.

Begg’s in­cred­i­ble tally started as a 26-year-old com­peti­tor in Ar­gentina in 1975, hav­ing been a rel­a­tive late­comer to the sport, hav­ing taken it up at 17.

He com­peted at three world cham­pi­onships be­fore switch­ing to coach­ing, some­thing that earned him in­ter­na­tional fame.

This year he was the New Zealand team coach for the 10th time, hav­ing also coached six other coun­tries at the world cham­pi­onships.

Begg said there had been many high­lights, in­clud­ing coach­ing 11 skaters who have won 17 world ti­tles, in­clud­ing his wife and daugh­ter Ni­cole.

Al­ways mat­ter of fact Begg states ‘‘I’ve done that much stuff over the years, not easy to re­mem­ber.’’

He is also keen to look for any slight ad­van­tage for his charges, Begg was the first speed skat­ing coach in Aus­tralia to earn an As­so­ci­ate Di­ploma Ap­plied Sci­ence (Sports).

‘‘You are never too old to learn, you should al­ways take ad­van­tage of other peo­ple’s knowl­edge.’’

His pas­sion and drive still has him look­ing for the next Kiwi world cham­pion.

The Beggs re­turned to Bill’s home town Ti­maru in 2009 to rein­vig­o­rate the lo­cal scene and they im­me­di­ately had young­sters turn­ing up at the di­lap­i­dated track.

Never one to stand still, the pas­sion­ate coach soon turned their at­ten­tion to a new sur­face, with the help of some very en­thu­si­as­tic par­ents and the club not only boasts a new track but new clu­b­rooms as well.

Bill Begg said he was


Bill and Ch­eryl Begg have been made life mem­bers of South Can­ter­bury Skat­ing.

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