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The Ambassador Team covers a wide geographic area to raise awareness for the Trust at a local level. We recognise the importance of being able to connect with the cause through local people liaising within their communities and networks. Our team of CatWalk Ambassadors lend their credibility and community connections to support the Trust and its commitment to fund a cure for spinal cord injuries. They are all people who have given their time freely to support the Trust and always go that ‘extra mile’, we would like you to meet them! Ambassadors represent CatWalk in the public arena, fly the flag and raise the profile and enhance the reputation of the Trust. Ambassador’s spread the word of The Trust’s Goals & Objectives to seek a cure for Spinal Cord Injury. Having valuable people in the community able to communicate to a wider audience just how close this is to being a reality – priceless!
Kate Lambie – Kate was a member of CatWalk’s 2010 New York Marathon team. She has been involved with CatWalk since the beginning as a friend of Catriona’s. She works to prevent spinal cord injuries with her business importing and distributing air vests for horse riders and donates a portion of her profits from this to CatWalk.
Anna Hiatt – Anna is the Managing Director of Pure Chaos Ltd. The company specialises in Event Management and contracts to Major Events in New Zealand and is based in Wanaka . Anna has a love of friends, family, food, wine and keeping fit.
I spent three and a half months in Burwood Spinal Unit with a fractured T 5,6 & 7. I was fortunate to be one of the ‘lucky’ ones able to walk out of there so am committed to helping those less lucky than me. To be involved in CatWalk is an utter pleasure. After spending time with Cat Williams and Hamish Ramsden, witnessing their infectious enthusiasm, how positively they cope with daily challenges of life that we easily take for granted. I have a deep admiration for both of them and they are a constant inspiration to me personally and many others to positively live life no matter what cards we are dealt.
Penny Barnett – Penny has been a wonderful CatWalk supporter since day one and is always the first to offer when help is needed. Penny is the proud owner of the Trelise Cooper Wellington Flagship Store and the Designer Clothing Gallery in Greytown. She has held several DCG sales raising money for CatWalk and attended many of our events. Penny travelled to New York with Team CatWalk in 2010 and is a member of The BIG Cycle team for 2013 as well. Penny says she
“loves being part of such a dynamic and passionate group of people and Catriona is ever inspiring. It is exciting to be part of the team and see significant advances towards our goal through research which is aided by grants from The CatWalk Trust. Added to this is the fun and opportunities we have by being part of CatWalk! The BIG Cycle is certainly a BIG challenge for me: when my personal trainer winds up the resistance on my spin bike and commands “4 minutes, flat out, NOW!” I have to remind myself it’s all for CatWalk – otherwise I’d probably just hit him!!”
Ian Douglas – Ian suffered a spinal cord injury a number of years ago but was fortunate to be a lucky near miss! He owns the renowned Village Goldsmith and has supported CatWalk frequently with highly sought after auction prizes.
Charlotte Gendall is a Kapiti Coast-based former broadcast journalist turned communications specialist who has taken a special interest in CatWalk since its inception. A long-time friend of Catriona’s, Charlotte’s possessed of the ability to set her emotional engagement to one side and provide constructive criticism and feedback on what’s going to be in CatWalk’s best interests. Since our founding, she’s turned her professional skills to help in numerous community engagement, fundraising and information projects, particularly through our magazine. Charlotte says her finest hour was undoubtedly running the 2014 New York Marathon and raising $26,000 for CatWalk. “I didn’t think I had it in me, but as usual, Catriona knew better!” says Charlotte.
Hamish Ramsden – Hamish has been a C5/6 tetraplegic since 1995 when he was tagging a calf on the family farm and was charged by its mother. Among other things, he is the Facilitator of Patient Education Groups at the Burwood Spinal Unit. Hamish was also a member of the ‘Up & Away’ organising committee.
Gracie Taylor – In one way or another, Gracie has been involved in the media and creative industries now for about 7 years. Everything from traditional newsroom journalism, hosting live radio and TV broadcasting, producing current affairs stories, website and digital management and social media.
Based in Auckland, Gracie epitomises the young successful woman of today and CatWalk are so fortunate to have her join us in an ambassador role.
“I am so honoured to be a Catwalk Ambassador! I have always loved what the trust stands for and I’m excited to be on board”.
Debbie Rolmanis – Debbie is a Human and Equine Sports Therapist who has run her own business for the last 6 years. Debbie was the soft tissue therapist at the 2012 London Olympics for the NZ Para-Equestrian team and she also attended the World Games in Normandy 2014 in the same role.
Debbie is now based in the UK, after 12 years in NZ and is passionate about bringing the work of the CatWalk Trust to a wider audience.
‘… after working closely with a group of courageous and inspiring people that make up the global para equestrian community, I became acutely aware of the importance of the work the Trust is doing. It is an absolute honour and privilege to be on board as an Ambassador, and I will support the team and their endeavours wholeheartedly …’
Heelan Tompkins – I have been fortunate enough to have been brought up in the New Zealand countryside surrounded by horses. My mother ran a riding school and my father was a dentist, and also a keen polo player. My father was in his early thirties when MS (Multiple sclerosis) put him in a wheel chair, he put up a brave fight but passed away ten years later. I competed alongside Catriona for many years before her accident, we both aspired for similar goals. I don’t recall ever beating her, she is, as you know, a great competitor. I competed at both the Beijing and Athens Olympics as well as the world games in Spain and Germany. I placed 7th at the Olympics and world games individually. I am currently an Olympic Ambassador teaching Olympic values to NZ schools.
I have been involved and interested in the work of The CatWalk Trust with my knowledge of Catriona, the equestrian sport and by my father.
Jamie Astwood – Jamie is 14 years old, lives in Hamilton and broke her back (T6/7/8) 3 1/2 years ago while sand duning up North. She is year 10 at Hamilton Dio now. Her Mum Jo was told about CatWalk while they were in re-hab, after one of her friends heard Catriona speak at a conference. Cat rang and spoke with her Jo just a week after their return from rehab to say ‘I just wanted to let you know it will get easier. Hang in there’.. She talked for 45 minutes and answered so many questions that were all new to SCI patient. Clearly Cat has a HUGE heart and has so much compassion for others. They met in person last year at the 10 year Anniversary bash where Zara Phillips attended. “Wow” said Jo, “what an amazing weekend. So much money was raised for SCI research. How can anyone say ‘no’ to Catriona Wiliams. She’s an amazing woman. When she asked Jamie to be an ambassador a few weeks ago, how could WE say ‘no’!! With pleasure Cat. We look forward to working along side you trying to help find a cure for all out there. Jamie talks all the time about walking again and the things she will do that were taken away on ‘that day’ in 2013”.
Oliver Bradshaw – Oliver Bradshaw works for financial firm UBS and lives in Auckland. He became a member of the Catwalk team in 2012 when he raised money for the charity by running in the New York City Marathon. Since then he has continued to participate in events to raise funds for CatWalk.
‘Writing this I realise how lucky I have been to meet so many inspirational people through CatWalk. It’s an honour to have met Catriona Williams and to witness the exceptional and dedicated team around her. After seeing what the Catwalk team are doing I also wanted to do my bit to find a cure for SCI.’
CROWE HORWATH – Crowe Horwath New Zealand is the largest provider of practical accounting, audit, tax and business advice to individuals and businesses from a network of over 24 offices throughout the country. The company’s advisors have specific industry knowledge and expertise within sectors including Agriculture, Asia Business, Automotive and Transport, Building and Construction, Franchising, Maori Business, Mergers and Acquisitions, Property, Real Estate the Public Sector and more. Crowe Horwath International is ranked amongst the top 10 global accounting networks, and is known for delivering quality audit, tax and advisory services in more than 100 countries.
HOUND & STEED CREATIVE AGENCY – As a full service advertising agency, Hound & Steed offer a comprehensive range of services, incorporating full advertising campaign development and management, brand development and implementation and full media services, including strategic, scheduling and placement. Whatever you need, the team at Hound & Steed we will make it happen. “Our local and international experience means we have pretty much seen it all and are hard to shock. We can turn a job around in super human timeframes and, well we’re yet to be challenged by a creative solution we couldn’t nail”.
MITAVITE NZ – The partnership with Mitavite is now heading into its second year. Mitavite has pledged to donate $NZD1 + GST to CATWALK for every 20kg bag of Equine horse feed, ‘Mitavite Munga’, sold in the New Zealand market. Mitavite is a subsidiary of Inghams Enterprises NZ Pty Ltd. Mitavite National Sales and Marketing Manager, Colin Price says “As a company within the equestrian community, Mitavite has followed the progress of CATWALK and Catriona’s inspirational achievements, so when the opportunity came to partner with the Trust we didn’t hesitate.” Said Price. “It is our series of promises that make us an integral part of the equestrian community, because not only do we back our products to deliver on our promises, wherever possible we back the clubs, societies and rescue organisations that make up this community, like CATWALK,” he said. “For us, CATWALK is a perfect partner. We’re looking forward to working with CATWALK in the future to make a difference,” Mr Price said.
ORA – Thanks to ORA for our new look website! ORA is smart marketing software and service provider that take the guesswork out of growing your business. Everything you need to help make the best marketing decisions, ORA can help with advertising, websites, social media and creative work.
BELL GULLY – Named 2016 Chambers Asia Pacific Law Firm of the Year, we are extremely appreciative of the pro-bono services Bell Gully offer to The CatWalk Trust. Lawyers of choice for corporate, government and investors, Bell Gully have offices in Auckland and Wellington.
MIRAGE VISUAL – Design, print and signage solutions, Mirage Visual work their magic to present, among other things, our bi-annual magazine ready for printing. Quality work from a family owned business based in Palmerston North which allows for overnight delivery anywhere in New Zealand.
DHL GLOBAL FORWARDING – The CatWalk Trust is proud to have a Premium Partner relationship with DHL Global Forwarding – the global market leader of the international logistics industry, specialising in providing innovative and customised solutions from a single source.
HIT-AIR VEST – A safety vest used by horse riders in both competing and pleasure riding. These safety vests inflate similar to a vehicle airbag to protect the rider when they fall from the horse. CatWalk receives a donation from the sale of these vests in New Zealand.
The CatWalk Trust is also affiliated with the following organizations to promote the heightened communication and encourage shared utilisation of resources and expertise for the good of those affected by SPI:
The New Zealand Spinal Trust is a registered charity providing information, education, research, advocacy and support to people who have spinal cord impairment so that they can enjoy independence.
The New Zealand Rugby Foundation helps all seriously injured rugby players in New Zealand. The Foundation is an independent charitable trust, which assists with the rehabilitation of players after their injuries and also the Rugby Smart injury prevention programme.
The International Campaign for Cures of Spinal Cord Injury Paralysis (ICCP) is a body of affiliate non-profit organisations working to fund research into cures for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury. The ICCP coalition mission is ‘to expedite the discovery of cures for Spinal Cord Injury Paralysis’. The CatWalk Trust is a member of ICCP.