Agility Committee Volunteer Awards 2014                

National Volunteer week was June 15-21st. Volunteers are very important in agility, from running classes and clubs to running small and massive events, community displays and other activities. The Agility Committee wanted to recognise some of the many volunteers that assist our sport throughout NZ. They work hard, in a range of capacities, to ensure that our sport continues to flourish and events keep running, and it is good to give them the recognition they deserve.

The Agility Committee asked you, the agility community, to nominate people who contribute on a voluntary basis. Thankyou to those of you who did so.

These volunteers will receive a certificate as recognition of their efforts, as well as petrol vouchers to use up!! The presentations for this will take place over the next few weeks around the country.

The recipients of the inaugural Volunteer awards are:-

Kathy Konieczny - Nelson nominated by the Nelson Club
Kathy Konieczny

We would like to nominate Kathy Konieczny as a Volunteer who gives more to our Club and its members than could ever be expected of an individual and who gives a lot more than many realise.

Kathy has been a member of the Nelson DTC for many years, originally joining to run her two Boxers Jade and Mudd. Throughout her membership she has been a member of the Club’s Management Committee and held the positions of Treasurer and Secretary. She is also an active member of the Agility Sub Committee (we are a multi discipline club) who billets judges, prepares the agility show catalogues and makes sure that things happen when they should.

It is not unusual for Kathy to turn up to meeting with a basket of ham and cheese rolls or a slab of Apple Pie; we are well fed at our meetings.

Nothing is done by halves when Kathy is involved, she is meticulous in the execution of all paperwork and is fondly known as the Laminating Queen due to her lamination of running orders and courses (and anything else she can get her hands on) prior to shows.

Kathy has also taken on the taken on joint responsibility for the kitchen in our clubrooms and recently presented a sponsor of our June Championship Show with a large homemade morning tea shout, just because she wanted to.

Outside of the club Kathy volunteers at the SPCA Op Shop and recently completed a sponsored tandem skydive with a local dog rescue organisation receiving the proceeds of several hundred dollars.

Above all she is a willing volunteer who will just get the job done, without fuss or any expectation of reward or thanks. She is generous with her time, almost to a fault and would go without if it meant that she could help someone else achieve.

Life is made up of givers and takers; Kathy is clearly a giver.

Liz Tolhurst - South Rangitikei Dog Training Club nominated by Sandra Mohekey
Liz Tolhurst

I am nominating Liz Tolhurst for her outstanding contribution to agility at South Rangitikei Dog Training Club.

I think she has been a mainstay of the club ever since she joined it in 1998. In the early years she helped run the agility ribbon trials and the club's cross country agility which was held once a year.

The club ran its first Agility Champ in 2006 and from then until 2012 she was Show Secretary, and usually Show Manager, for all the agility shows; she also ran one of the two rings.

Currently she is still the manager of all agility ribbon trials and she also runs one ring at each show. She has been on the committee - usually as Secretary I believe - forever!

Liz is the main agility instructor at the club, turning up rain or shine to instruct beginner and intermediate classes. She also co-ordinates the Nala agility - and has since she started at the club I think. She marks out the courses ahead of time and is incredibly accurate in the way she paces them out. She is one of the main reasons the club still runs Nala agility Link, as we are a tiny club.

One of the most admirable things about Liz is her incredible generosity. When she is competing at other club's shows she always helps out - lugging agility equipmant around and helping to set up rings when people half her age are sitting around watching. Did I mention her incredible energy? This last point, her willingness to help out at shows, is another reason I think she is an outstanding agility volunteer.

Sandra Goodwin - Blenheim Canine Training Club nominated by Karina Greenall
Sandra Goodwin

I would like to nominate Sandra Goodwin from the Blenheim Canine Training Club as she works tirelessly all year round to help ensure the smooth running of the club.

I have attached a picture of Sandra winning Top Maxi Dog at our recent Jumpers show in May which was thoroughly deserved and a long time coming!

Sandra organises agility training rosters, show helper rosters and is always there for club members if they have any questions and is always one of the volunteers who helps out at any fundraising or promotional event.

She is also one of the instructors who gives up time on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays to take the foundation, beginners and development classes.

Sandra also has her own two dogs to train, and often runs her Dad's dog at shows as well as her own in between doing show manager!

BOB LYGO - Agility scrimer nominated by Karen de Wit
Bob Lygo

I would like to nominate Bob Lygo for recognition as a volunteer.

He does not run a dog, though he is always there to support his wife. But he does more than this!

We are always looking for scrimers, especially ones who don’t run dogs and Bob is a very willing Scrimer, and he is often seen scriming at competitions.

He scrimed at NZDAC which is a huge event with a very large time commitment.

He doesn’t ask for much in return – a good spot to park the Motor-home is good enough!!

Rae Leckie - Taieri Canine Training Club nominated by the Taieri Club
Rae Leckien

Rae has been the club’s show secretary for many years and does a fantastic job of organising entries, ring boxes (pens, call sheets, running orders etc.) and collating results on the day. We do not have to free up any other members at our competitions, as Rae takes care of everything for us.

Rae’s husband Don has been competing with TCTC for many years and most people will know of Don and his outstanding Boxers. A lot of agility competitors throughout the country will have met Rae, as she and their daughter Pip always accompany Don to shows. However, many may not realise that Rae not only supports and helps Don; she also helps out our club.

Over the last year she has not only performed the above duties she has also taken on the training of their youngest boxer Sam. Don has been out of action so Rae took on the obedience and then foundation training of young Sam while Don had to stand on the side lines and give encouragement.

Rae and Don have attended all the club’s displays and Rae is always helping set up rings and put away equipment. She was a great MC for us at the Balclutha A&P and kept the public interested in what the dogs were doing during the display. You can always rely on Rae to lend a hand whenever needed, from tidying up the club rooms to manning a sausage sizzle; Rae will be there.

In 2013 Rae was convinced to join the club’s committee and has since decided to stay on the committee for 2014. Rae is a most valued member of the club and we appreciate all the hard work she puts in for us, especially since she doesn’t run a dog in competitions.

Karen de Wit - Upper Hutt – NZ Agility - NALA nominated by Kim Nicol
Karen de Wit

Perhaps one page isn’t long enough to list what Karen does for agility not only on a club level but at a National level.

UPPER HUTT - Chief (only) instructor – designs modules, instructs, organises anything and everything that needs doing, and is done smiling, always! Encourages members at all levels. Any special event Karen is out there running it – paws in the Park to mention one.

DAWG – Although Karen doesn’t train at DAWG she was designing weekly modules for them.

NALA – Karen makes NALA happen, she writes the monthly editorial, designs the courses, currently inputting results, orders ribbons arranges prize givings. Encourages people to have a go by introducing games etc – welcoming of young and old dogs.

NZKCAC – Karen is a committee member tasked with the Judges, measuring, regulations and dog world potfolios!

Asks questions to encourage discussion i.e recently asked for feedback re ribbons for all heights – which I think is a great way to encourage new people to become addicted.

Added to all that Karen is also a measurer.

I’m sure to have left things out...

Sandra McHugh - CCATS nominated by Billie Fletcher
Sandra McHugh

I would like to "dob in" Sandra McHugh of CCATS for a volunteer award.

Anyone who has anything to do with agility down here will know how incredibly hard Sandra works for CCATS.

The emails I get in the middle of the night are testament to how often she is thinking about club!

Sandra has been president of our club for a long time, diplomatically sorting out any internal problems, applying for funding, putting gear out and away, running classes, show managing, and on top of it all is always there for club members with any problems, willing to lend a hand and helping form the basis of what a good family our club is.

Graeme Lawson - Waimak nominated by the Waimakariri club
Graeme Lawson

Graeme has been involved in agility for over 20 years, both as a competitor and a judge. He was a founding member of the Waimakariri Dog Obedience club many many years ago and has worked tirelessly for the club throughout to help our club grow to the fantastic, supportive club we now know as Waimakariri Dog Training Club.

Graeme just gets on and does what needs to be done when it needs to be done. Prior to shows he heads down to the grounds and weed whacks, marks rings, mows the grass – tidies the shed and does maintenance on the gear. He does all of this without being asked and to the surprise of us all when we turn up for training.

He has been involved as an instructor and currently instructs the Waimak Young Guns and assists in instructing our Novice/Intermediate level class. This often makes for a long night at training – he is there early, well before the 5pm start, putting the gear out and always one of the last to leave.

Graeme is also a measurer which can be a trying and timely process but he volunteers and does without complaint and in his usual calm and gentle manner.

Last year he volunteered to be our new show secretary and despite the job itself proving challenging at times he just gets stuck in to help our shows run smoothly which is well noted by the wider agility community. A valued committee member, he is always bringing new and beneficial ideas to the table.

There are many many things that Graeme does and has done not only for our club but for agility in general over the years.

We would love to see Graeme rewarded for his volunteer work to agility.

Keri Wheaton - WAG nominated by Fioina Ferrar
Keri Wheaton

A lot of people wouldn’t know Keri as she is a quiet unassuming person.

She has been on the WAG committee since I think in the late 1990’s, and has instructed most terms since then.

She always is there helping at shows, ordering ribbons, has organized the kitchen in the past and basically steps in wherever these is a need.

She has run Jack Russells in the past – Nico and Kelly, and has a retired BC Sullie, and currently competes with BC Yahtzee.

The club would not be the same without her, and she is a volunteer extraordinaire and truly deserves an award for that.