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A thanks to our ‘army’ of event all-stars

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

BOP Cross Country Champs   June 27 1

As the inter-school events for term four – and 2017 – ends, there’s never been a better time to reflect on what has been another busy year.

I can go on about good sportsmanship and fair play – and to be honest we see plenty of examples of this all the time, which is heart-warming. We continue to advocate great behaviour with all the stakeholders involved with school sport and other than isolated incidents, most are on board with this.

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What I want to reflect on is what make these events and opportunities come together for our school children – the helping hands. One of the best things about my role is at the end of an event when a student comes up and thanks me for the great day they have had. But in truth it takes a team of people to make our events successful and, as a facilitator, I would like to acknowledge that team.

This all-star team can vary in size depending on the event. It will usually include each school’s sport coordinator or TIC, school teachers, some volunteer parents, sport club officials and sporting code expertise, Sport Bay of Plenty crew – plus external coffee and food distributors.

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Cross country is a good example as the all-star team is often repeated many times across these mid-year events.
The work begins weeks earlier with the students taking part in their school and cluster events before qualifying for the WBOP Inter-school Cross Country.

Each school and cluster event will take as much work to organise. Once the students have qualified, their entry information will be prepared by the sports coordinators and submitted to Sport Bay of Plenty. I then organise this information and all the logistics for the day. There is quite a bit of administration work prior to all events taking place.

The actual day starts for me at 5am with a weather check and to be ready for any phone calls or texts relating to the event. Then, I’ll get to the event venue by 7am to help Malcolm (Tauranga Ramblers Club) and the Sport Bay of Plenty crew set up the course and gazebos.

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By this point, some of the schools from Katikati, Waihi, Matata and other outer parts of the region are already travelling – an early start for those sport coordinators or teachers in charge!

Meanwhile, other unsung heroes are preparing for the day, such as parents who have volunteered their time to help with transport, marshal for the event and simply support the school and their children who may be competing.

The majority of our events cannot go ahead without this help. For the event itself we have a director, safety and first-aid person, an announcer, results personnel, an event official, a starter, a finish line official, a photographer and marshals out on course. The sports coordinators are busy looking after their athletes all day.

At the end of the event, the Sport Bay of Plenty crew will help Malcolm pack everything down and return the reserve to normal. I will finalise the results and organise those athletes that have qualified to the Bay of Plenty championships. Whew! I have skimmed over plenty of action, but you get the idea.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I think my point is it takes a team (sometimes a small army) to put on our school events, and I am very proud of the all-star team that make it happen.

A huge thank you to them – they are awesome!

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