Jim Fitzsimons has claimed the 2017 Massey University Harbour Sports Awards, Giesen Wines Volunteer of the Year Award.
Jim has been a member of the North Shore Squash club for 10 years. Over the years he has been involved in all aspects of the club. This has involved running club night through to been an active committee member for 5 years. Many players who have come through the North Shore Squash Club for a tournament will have been greeted by Jim at the Tournament Control desk where he is always providing a smile and friendly attitude.
Jim is an active volunteer around the club, helping at all working bees and also assisting as required or asked to do tasks and jobs as they arise during the course of the year. He never questions and just gets on with it.
Jim’s biggest asset that he brings to the club is assisting with the preparation and running of all the tournaments the North Shore Squash Club host each year. Jim has developed a program for the North Shore Squash club to enable and ensure that all tournaments run smoothly and this has also eased the work load involved in a tournament. A normal tournament runs from Thursday night and will finish on a Sunday afternoon. Jim is always there during the week as soon as he has finished work and on the weekend from the start of play each day. He does not leave each night until the last games have come off court and he is a friendly approachable face for all those that compete- from those that have been competing for years to those that are doing their first tournament.
Jim was also involved in the World Masters Games 2017 (WMG). In 2014 when North Shore Squash club was named as the sole club to be hosting the squash for the WMG Jim set about refining his program to accommodate for over 400 players and 8.5 days of play. He was also involved in working with the IT personnel to ensure that game results were updated on the website as the games were finished and results inputted. WMG started on Saturday 22nd April at 8am and the final games were played on Saturday 29th April. Games would start at 8am but Jim would arrive each day at 7.30am and would not leave until all games had finished and all preparation for next day’s play was done. A normal finish each day for Jim during WMG was 11pm. The only exception was ANZAC day when we did not start until 12pm. Jim was the constant friendly, happy and helpful face at tournament control. By the last day of competition he could personally greet the majority of the players by their first names. It must be noted that Jim took this time off work as well using his annual leave.
Sharon Crawford Manager of the North Shore Squash Club said "Jim is the person that everyone wants to have working alongside them when running tournaments and I am the lucky one to have him working alongside me at each tournament, checking people in, running sheets to and from courts, entering results and the jobs that are done in the background that no-one is aware of but that help us run a smooth and efficient tournament. He can also be found redoing lines on courts or whatever is needed to be done around the club during working bees or even in his spare time to keep the club a welcoming place for all. Always with a smile for everyone and he will know your name after he has meet you. And guarantee to have a coffee for me as he walks in to assist me at each tournament"
Jim O’Grady Chief Executive of Squash New Zealand said “It was absolute pleasure working with Jim throughout the World Masters Game. There from kick off to close of play every day Jim handled everything in his stride as Mr. cool, calm and collected and never fazed by anything making this one of the best International Events. Congratulations on your well-earned acknowledgement. “
Congratulations to Jim on a well-deserved recognition for his hard work and tireless efforts.