Photo: Kate with her daughter Chon’s dog Hooch
Congratulations to August’s ESNZ Volunteer of the Month, Kate Honour from ESNZ Para and Dressage!
From the Bay of Plenty, Kate is “a go to kind of person who finds solutions, not focusing on the problem but looking for the answer,” according to Jo Jackson.
Kate started with Para in the UK in the 1980’s when a pony club mate was injured and needed help to ride again. As Jo tells it, Kate “was not amused about the lack of inclusion and assumptions that broken body parts mean broken brain”.
“Kate also has a grade 2 Para daughter and has learnt through the many systems (outside sport) that in our society equality and inclusion are fundamentals that have to be fought for, assumptions challenged and fear dispelled with education,” says Jo.
Kate has many roles – from coach to stable manager to event convener – and will always take up any other “gap” where one needs filling. She campaigns hard for Para to be barrier free and inclusive at all levels of our sport.
“She always says anyone can become a para at the blink of an eye,” says Jo. “She is aware that Para caries a stigma. This is often through fear and lack of education, something which is very close to Kate’s heart.”
Kate “gets it done” says Jo, “she fights with passion to get Para included in a fair manner. She gets on well with other Dressage NZ (DNZ) riders and other volunteers and I know she really appreciates the support from both ESNZ and DNZ to get Para growing as an equal sport.”
Jo says that every year at the Horse of the Year, Kate fights hard to keep Para riders in the Oval. She also says that often when they travel together in the horse truck, “Kate is great for Tiki Tours…the new name for getting lost!”
Thank you Kate for being the passionate advocate for para riders, for being someone who gets things done, who challenges stereotypes, educates and builds cooperative relationships and is always filling the gaps that inevitably are there in all our sports – you are a champion in more ways than one!
Our sport is in safe hands with Kate and our other wonderful volunteers like her, so next time you are so lucky to be on the receiving end of our volunteers’ generosity, please take a moment to thank them.
ESNZ Volunteer of the Month receives a gift in recognition of their contribution; Kate’s is on its way to her.
You can nominate your ESNZ Volunteer of the Month by emailing us at [email protected] with Volunteer of the Month in the subject line.
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