Boss sticks with hockey for long haul
Being president of Nelson Hockey for 26 years has earned Diane Proudfoot recognition at the Sport Volunteer Awards.
Mrs Proudfoot was the regional winner of the Volunteer of the Year award, presented at a breakfast ceremony this morning at Saxton Oval Pavilion.
The president of Nelson Hockey for nearly three decades, Mrs Proudfoot said she had never played sport as a child.
"I'd never played [hockey] before in my life. I came back after seven years in Melbourne, and George [my husband] got me on the field because he was short of players."
Now, she was passionate about both the sport and the people who played and also enjoyed her role as president.
"I'm totally honoured [by the award]. To be recognised is just fantastic, not that that's why I do that.
"I really enjoy seeing everybody, from the 3 and 4-year-olds right up to 70-year-olds, getting out and playing the game."
She said she liked being able to provide a service and give something back to people.
Sports Tasman senior adviser sport development Steve Mitchell said Mrs Proudfoot was very dedicated.
"If you look at her involvement and what hockey's achieved under her leadership, it's pretty impressive."
The awards recognised the volunteers in the Nelson and Marlborough region and were sponsored by WHK.
This year there had been 342 nominations from the public, up from 79 last year, Mr Mitchell said.
The guest speakers were Tasman Rugby Union chief executive Andrew Flexman, and Makos captain Andrew Goodman.
Both spoke of how important volunteers were, particularly to the rugby code, and how much of what had been achieved would have been impossible without their help.
"Volunteers are the lifeblood of not just sport, but the community," Mr Goodman said.
The Nelson winners were Michelle Kirker, touch, and Mrs Proudfoot, who was also the regional winner. Marlborough volunteers were recognised at a ceremony last week.
Mrs Proudfoot's entry will now be considered against 16 others from around the country by Sport New Zealand who will determine a nationwide winner.
She received $250 of sports vouchers as well as invitations to the Nelson Sports Award Dinner and the national awards dinner.
- © Fairfax NZ News