Richard Baggs – Volunteer of the year – Hockey NZ Awards 2023
Richard Baggs has been involved in umpiring and as a technical official at Waikato Hockey for as long as anyone can remember. He is the guy that is first to the ground every Saturday (unpaid, and often un-thanked) to set up the fields, get the scoreboards going, and make sure the turf is watered. He does the umpire appointments which is a thankless and annoying job every week for our Premier competition, as well as the appointments for the technical officials, making sure that every game is catered for on a Saturday afternoon.
He will often be the Technical Official for 2-3 games in a row when others can’t make it and helps ensure that all the paper work and scoring is correct for the day at our home Association and also for those other matches played around our region. Baggsy also mentors and coaches aspiring Technical Officials who want to learn the ropes, and this season at National Hockey Championship led the training and upskilling of over 25 local judges to support the tournament. He is also an active member of the Waikato Umpires Committee and has held this role for several years
Baggsy was appointed as one of the country’s top Technical Officials to National Hockey Championship, he was the tournament director for the third year running at NZ Heritage Tournament, and the NZ Indians tournament providing hockey New Zealand with the leadership and skillset that is required from a technical standpoint at these tournaments. All of this is on top of being the teacher in charge of hockey at his Hillcrest High School, coaching the 1st 11 Girls team, and umpiring himself in the C Grade Secondary competition.
If Baggsy were to step away from our sport, it would leave a huge hole in the system that supports our senior competition and on the development and professionalism of the sport at our Association. Quite frankly, Baggsy is simply irreplaceable in our community and we don’t know what we’d do without him.
Thanks for everything you do for us Baggsy.
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