Rebecca Housby – Waimauku Pony Club | Faces of Auckland Sport and Recreation Volunteers
For Rebecca Housby, being part of Waimauku Pony Club has come full circle.
After moving to the area in the northwest of Auckland a child, Rebecca signed up to ride at the club. Her dad – also a keen rider – came along too, and ended up volunteering as president, helping run the club with a focus on encouraging kids to develop a love of riding and ponies.
Fast forward to now, and Rebecca is back at her old stomping ground, volunteering as club secretary to help this family-friendly club continue to thrive for a new generation of riders, including her own kids.
How did you get involved in pony clubs and equestrianism?
My parents were both riders. When I was 12, we moved out to Waimauku, got our ponies and joined Waimauku Pony Club. My dad became president of the club, and he ended up doing a lot of volunteering. He was heavily involved in all aspects of building the club and I rode there until I was nineteen. Seven years ago, my son joined the club when he turned four. The secretary was standing down and I was encouraged by some of the volunteers who had been there since I was a kid to put my hand up. I’ve been volunteering here for five years now and love it.
What motivated you to volunteer at the club?
It was really about keeping the club running for the kids especially those that may find the cost a barrier. Going to shows and going to private events is really expensive, and even just owning a horse is quite expensive. We do a lot of fundraising to cover that; we're making horse riding more affordable for kids, to still enjoy riding without that huge expense.
What does volunteering as club secretary involve?
I look after all the correspondence, emails in and out. I also manage all the enrolments, all the uniform things, merchandise, purchasing, I write up the agenda and minutes for our monthly committee meetings, and I'm basically the liaison for anything and everything in the club. We hold events to raise money, like ribbon days, and I support those too. I'm also the middle person between the district, area and national pony clubs. It’s a very busy role! Through my job at Vodafone, I do have flexible hours to do the things I need to do though, and my direct managers are very supportive.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
Seeing the kids enjoying themselves and having a great time and knowing that all the hard work we’ve done behind the scenes has allowed them to have that fun. As secretary, I receive all the enrolments and I see the blurbs that parents send through about where their kids are at with their riding at the beginning of the season. Then seeing them at the end of the season, just completely nailing things that they just never thought they could do - seeing that growth just makes it great.
What advice would you give to anyone considering volunteering in any sport or recreation?
If someone wants to volunteer at their local club, I’d say they just need to ask. Honestly, just come and talk to us! As a club, we have a huge list of jobs that we need to get done, and I'm 100% sure every other club and every other sports organisation would have the same. Just ask what needs to be done, people will greatly appreciate it AND you get to be a bigger part of your community!
Aktive and Vodafone New Zealand are thrilled to be working together to celebrate our awesome volunteers who make Auckland sport and recreation possible.
Volunteers generously give their time, knowledge, and skills to community sport and recreation, making for a happier, healthier Tāmaki Makaurau.
If you’re interested in volunteering, have a chat with your local sports club or recreation group – we’re sure your support will be hugely appreciated!