Alastair Walker, a parent volunteer at Pukenui School in Te Kuiti, has been named this year's AA Insurance Good Sort of Sport for his commitment to the school's Rippa Rugby team, scoring them $10,000 for much needed uniforms and sports equipment.
It's the second year of AA Insurance's Good Sort of Sport awards and, as part of our NRL referee sponsorship, is an opportunity to recognise all those Kiwis who, like the refs, work quietly behind-the-scenes to make grass-roots sport happen in New Zealand.
Alastair was nominated by Pukenui School Executive Officer Vivien Katipa-Maikuku for his dedication to training the team twice a week, rain or shine, and is not only a talented coach but also a great motivator.
In her nomination of Alastair, Vivien says: “We are very privileged and grateful to have the committed parent/coach we have in Alastair, and would love to have him recognised for his selfless giving of time and energy (as well as the) encouragement he gives our tamariki. It is wonderful to have a great, male Maori role model as part of our Pukenui School family.”
Alastair’s dedication has meant the team is on its way to the Nationals in Wellington later this month, and has already enjoyed an earlier trip to see the Chiefs play in Hamilton thanks to their coach's fundraising efforts.
“I try to get involved as much as I can for the kids,” says Alastair. “Volunteering is so important for the school, as the teachers really need the support. And if the school needs help, then I put my hand up."
Melodie Vickars, Sponsorship Manager for AA Insurance says the response to Good Sorts was overwhelming.
“A huge congratulations to Alastair – it was evident from Vivien’s nomination how much you do for the team, and how much it’s appreciated. You’re a real Good Sort."
“We received hundreds of wonderful, heartfelt nominations, which really emphasises how much Kiwi sport relies on our unsung heroes."