‘Sportmaker’ recognised

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Eastern Southland connecting communities adviser Martin Mackereth, of Gore, has won an award recognising his contribution to sport in his community.

Mackereth was nominated twice in Lotto New Zealand’s “Thank a Sportmaker” programme.

Last Thursday afternoon Mackereth was surprised by the presentation of the award at his office at the Gore Multisports Complex.

He will receive $1000 of Lotto sports gear.

Overall 10 winners were selected throughout New Zealand.

Mackereth was nominated by his Sports Southland co-worker, communications and marketing lead Jerrie Valli, and Mr Mackereth’s son James.

“Martin is quite simply amazing .. How he finds the time to volunteer across so many sports, I’m not sure, but I know that there are hundreds of youngsters and their parents that are so fortunate that he does,” Valli said in nominating him.

“Martin coaches two hockey teams, is president of the Gore Gymnastics Club and is a gym coach,” she said.

He had also just stepped down as the president of the Gore BMX Club.

“He is absolutely 100% deserving of this title.

“He teaches them not only key sporting skills but key life skills.”

Mackereth said he was not expecting the award.

“I was not expecting it at all, especially my son’s nomination.”

He found coaching sports highly rewarding, although his schedule was quite packed.

Earlier this year he coached the division 4 boys’ hockey team as well as the Eastern Southland boys’ hockey team which went to the South Island Festival of Hockey in Christchurch last month.

“The festival team got beaten in the semifinal but the boys were great. They presented themselves really well and were supportive of each other as a team .. The feedback they were getting from other teams and parents showed me they impressed the people around them,” he said.

“It’s a tough job .. It’s a bit of extra commitment but the rewards outweigh everything else.

“Even if I can just teach kids to keep their heads held high in defeat or to not be too big-headed when they win, then I’m getting somewhere.”