Titheridge hailed for 35 years service to sport

CLAY WILSON
Last updated 16:00 15/11/2012

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A 35-year commitment to the sport he loves saw long-time Marlborough Girls' College volleyball coach and mentor Roy Titheridge receive one of the national body's highest honours this month.

On November 3, Titheridge was presented with the Volleyball New Zealand (VNZ) Service Award at the VNZ annual meeting. It came just a few days after he received the NZ Secondary Schools Sports Council Award for outstanding service to volleyball.

He was not expecting to receive the VNZ award, but Titheridge said, in hindsight, he should have suspected something was up.

The VNZ annual meeting was on the same Saturday which was the first day of the tournament named in his honour, the Roy Titheridge Junior Invitation tournament in Blenheim. As the Tasman region chairman, he felt he probably should go the annual meeting. But when he asked several peoplewhether he really needed to attend, they all told him he definitely needed to be there.

Titheridge and fellow service award recipient Ross Baldwin, a Nelson man now based in Christchurch, were asked to leave the room when the voting was done for the awards and when they returned they were informed what they had achieved.

"It wasn't really a grand announcement . . . The NZ Secondary Schools award I got for my work at MGC was probably more pleasing, but it is still very nice to be honoured by the national body."

The VNZ website states that service awards are presented only to those "who have made a significant contribution to the game of Volleyball in New Zealand, which has enhanced the game locally, nationally and/or internationally".

Since arriving in Marlborough in 1977, Titheridge has made an immense contribution to Marlborough volleyball as a player, coach, mentor, referee and administrator. As a player he represented Marlborough at national level, while he has coached the Marlborough Redbacks women's team on numerous occasions and, after steering the MGC volleyball programme for many years now, is know at MGC as "Mr Volleyball". The inaugural Marlborough Volleyball Association president in 1977, he is also its patron and two years ago was named a life member.

Despite such a long involvement with volleyball, Titheridge admits he "just can't give it up".

He plans to go through next year's nationals with the MGC senior A team and is optimistic about their chances of doing well.

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- The Marlborough Express

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