Suzette Taylor was recently honoured with the prestigious Softball New Zealand Volunteer of the Year and Softballer of the Year Supreme awards for the 2022/23 season.
We thought it was an ideal opportunity to do some Q&A with Suzette and to get some insights into why she is so committed to ECB and the game.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you become involved with the East Coast Bays United Softball Club (ECB)?
I am a mum to Carlos who is now 16. Carlos started playing for ECB when he was 11. 2 years later I was asked to score for the U13 team. 3 years ago, I became the Club Secretary and this year took on the role of Club Treasurer. Carlos is still playing and earned his Level 2 Umpire certificate this season.
What motivates you to dedicate so much time and effort to softball and the club?
To me it is about giving back and stepping up to help when needed. I have always been one to get stuck in and lend a helping hand.
Can you share with a highlight of your volunteering journey with the club?
2 highlights this season:
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in volunteering for their local softball club or community?
Clubs are run by volunteers – many hands make light work! All Clubs need a helping hand, whether you have 1 hour to give or many hours. Think about the skills that you have that a club or community group may find useful. There is nothing better to lift your spirits than giving back.
Looking ahead, what are some of your goals and aspirations for yourself and the softball community in the coming year?
My goal over the next few years would be to work my way up the scoring ladder and one day be selected as a Scorer for a NZ team and represent my country.
How do you manage to balance your volunteer work with your other commitments?
Hmm that can sometimes be hard, but I make it work. I do a lot of work in the evening and on weekends.
What was your reaction when you found out that you had won the award?
I was truly humbled and honoured to receive the Softball New Zealand Volunteer of the Year and then the Softballer of the Year Supreme award for 2022/23 Season.
As a volunteer, I have always believed that my role goes beyond simply showing up and doing my assigned task. For me, it's about creating a positive and inclusive environment that fosters teamwork, sportsmanship, and growth. I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to the sport that has given me so much.
Being part of ECB I have been fortunate and privileged to have met so many wonderful people, from players and coaches to officials. I have seen first-hand how softball can bring people together and create a sense of community.
To my fellow ECB committee members, I want to acknowledge each of you for your hard work, time and effort and dedication to our Club – teamwork makes the dreamwork! Your passion and dedication to the sport inspire me every day, and I am proud to be a part of such an amazing group of people.
Softball NZ and ECB thank you for this recognition. I am honoured to accept these awards and look forward to continuing to volunteer for softball in the years to come.
Suzette Taylor - Softball NZ Volunteer of the Year and Softballer of the Year
To accurately record the service and achievements of Suzette Taylor of ECB will be difficult as she does so much for our club and softball behind the scenes and is so humble about doing it. She is such an asset to Softball. Everything she does is as a volunteer.
ECB is the largest softball club in North Harbour and Suzette manages all their finances, fundraising events, uniform sales, created our Managers/Scorers manuals. Suzette is their acting secretary, co-ordinates the calendar raffle, volunteered every day at the Men's Softball World Cup 2022 and dedicates many hours every week during the year to softball.
Suzettes’ commitment is infectious. She is a scorer, a mentor, treasurer, secretary, fundraiser, and an incredible volunteer in our game. - ECB