2017 AGM – Elected Board Members

GNZ AdminCEO / Board Updates, Member Updates

Elected by the members to the Board (for the two vacant Elected positions) are Virginia Cathro (re-standing) and Angie Dougal (first time standing). Both Virginia and Angie bring valuable skills and experience that will enable the Board to continue to provide sound strategic governance.  Read below to see why being part of Gymnastics NZ is important to them both.

Virginia Cathro

What motivated you to continue as a Director on the Board of Gymnastics New Zealand?

I feel I am able to offer value with a passion for the sport, a deep appreciation for the range of gymnastics codes, ambitions and challenges.  I still admire the drive you have as a gymnast to achieve the next goal and feel the move.  I realise that with age comes insight into what remains constant and what needs to change and stay with the movement of the times.  My business and education background I believe remain relevant and I realise I am sadly a little rare, an ex-gymnast, ex-coach, e-x-judge, ex-committee member, ex-fundraiser.  I also believe that as I share my life with my children and embrace the things that they like to do, that I bring this knowledge with me back into the sport that I still love. I enjoy being a Mum of a gymnast who enjoys a code different to the one I love. I don’t have time to coach, it is impractical to judge with children doing others sports but I can commit time and focus as a board member.

What do you see as the most pressing issue(s) facing the sport?

Being sustainable as an organisation is always pressing.  It encompasses both people and financial dimensions. You might even say that in any business it is always “time & money”.  This is true for any sports organisation and most especially when parents are working and not well placed to do the after school taxi and support crew.  It takes a lot to hold deep knowledge of roles within clubs and volunteers are essential and rare commodities.  Added to this is also the need for well-educated coaches and judges where this type of knowledge is valued and supported. Placing value encompasses understanding what the unique ‘value proposition’ is of being involved, what you get by doing gymnastics, by being a club member and part of a vibrant community. I believe knowing what we offer as a sport and clubs is crucial to how we position ourselves in the market, how we engage with people, attract new members and retain the connections we have with people who share the feeling of our sport.

If we fast forward two years, what would you have ‘ticked off’ as things you aimed to accomplish during this term?

In this term I hope to be part of brand resurgence where our membership can say what they offer and our broader stakeholders are confident of our club strength and role within the sporting sector.

In your opinion, why does gymnastics ‘Grow great New Zealanders?

Gymnastics grow great New Zealanders by developing minds, body and soul.  Through movement it teaches physical and mental mastery where you learn lifelong learning skills and resilience.  Through clubs, community and friendships it supports the flow of people’s lives with regular routine, reasons to work together and things to celebrate and acknowledge.  It grows agility and when you participate in other activities this skillset infuses everything else you do.  The primary recipient is the athlete but others also can get swept into the mix. Many a sausage sizzle or a car wash fundraiser has paved the way for friendship. The sport develops mindfulness and emotional intelligence. Feeling the move, conquering fear, developing focus and patience, experiencing the highs and the lows brings insight to what others might feel. It allows for deep appreciation of achievement and the many forms that this might take.  Working as both an individual and within a team enhances self-discipline, motivation and leadership skills. The technical nature of the sport develops keen minds.

Angie Dougal

What motivated you to join the Board of Gymnastics New Zealand?

After nearly 35 years in gymnastics as an athlete, coach, judge, club owner and various management and leadership roles, I felt that it was time to time to try to make a ‘bigger’ difference. By joining the Board I hope to lead from the front. 

What do you see as the most pressing issue(s) facing the sport?

Improving our culture of togetherness.  Together we are stronger and can achieve outstanding excellence. 

What skills / experience do you think you will bring to the Board environment?

It is my hope that my 16 years of coaching, judging, involvement with High Performance and running my own club can help me bring valuable skills and experience to the Board environment.  I also believe that my skills and experience of being a parent of a gymnast will be beneficial.  My aim is that by having different areas of experience I can view issues and opportunities from a well-rounded and realistic vantage point. 

If we fast forward two years, what would you have ‘ticked off’ as things you aimed to accomplish in your first term?

Started to work on building a positive ‘team culture”. 

Improved brand awareness and love of the brand.  When people see or hear about Gymnastics NZ they say “oh Gymnastics NZ! So cool”

In your opinion, why does gymnastics ‘Grow great New Zealanders’?

I have seen and experienced thousands of cases first hand of how our sport positively impacts NZers lives. 

I love to see the pride on people’s faces when they achieve something they never thought they could do.  By giving people this sense of achievement, it helps build their self-esteem, which is essential for healthy growth … thus “growing great New Zealanders”.