Dog handlers and their pets display their training skills in all conditions at the Tivoli Sporting Complex. Agility Dog Club of Queensland officials and members are celebrating two Ipswich Sports Awards.
Dog handlers and their pets display their training skills in all conditions at the Tivoli Sporting Complex. Agility Dog Club of Queensland officials and members are celebrating two Ipswich Sports Awards.

‘Family fun for the family pets’ Ipswich club goes global

FOR an Ipswich-based club that achieves international success, a high level of commitment is required.

That is why officials and members of the Agility Dog Club of Queensland (ADCQ) are celebrating two major awards.

The Tivoli-based club was recognised in the 2020 Ipswich Sports Awards winning Sporting Organisation of the Year.

Multi-tasking member Catharina Slot was acknowledged as Volunteer of the Year.

WORLD CLASS: Ipswich sportstar winners up with the best

2020 Sports Awards Volunteer of the Year Catharina Slot (left) celebrates her success with Agility Dog Club of Queensland president Ruth Raymond. The Agility Dog Club was named Sporting Organisation of the Year. Picture: David Lems
2020 Sports Awards Volunteer of the Year Catharina Slot (left) celebrates her success with Agility Dog Club of Queensland president Ruth Raymond. The Agility Dog Club was named Sporting Organisation of the Year. Picture: David Lems

Slot was delighted with her individual award and seeing the club honoured, especially after a series of national and international successes.

"I do a lot of voluntary work for the club and also for the Australian association,'' she said.

"It's really nice to be recognised by my peers and the people at our club because all of those are volunteers as well.''

Slot co-founded the Queensland organisation in 1994 with her husband Steve Drinkwater.

The Chuwar-based couple are actively involved in many roles.

Catharina is club treasurer, chief instructor and competition secretary. Steve is secretary and director of judging.

Their voluntary work extends to national level where Catharina is Chair of Agility Dog Association of Australia Ltd (ADAA).

Catharina received an Order of Australia (OAM) Medal last year for her contribution to the sport.

"The general consensus among those who know Cathy is one of admiration for her dedication to our sport and ADCQ,'' club president Ruth Raymond said.

"We often ask when she sleeps as she is the linchpin of the club and performs so many vital roles, all on a volunteer basis.''

Over the past 25 years, Slot has also been involved in extra duties at the not-for-profit club like instructing courses for Ipswich residents, giving feedback to members, rewarding other volunteers and contributing to the club's ongoing growth.

She also works on grant applications in addition to her treasurer demands.

"Our club was the first agility club in Queensland,'' Slot said.

"Our club motto has always been 'family fun for the family pets'.''

Dog agility competition involves a dog, with their handler's assistance, accurately completing a set obstacle course in the fastest time possible.

"Dog agility is a relatively new sport in the scheme of sports around the world,'' Slot said.

"The sport is developing so when we train our own dogs, we take in those same principles that we are moving forward with what's happening globally with dog training.''

Photo showing dog agility competition and how the handlers work with their dogs.
Photo showing dog agility competition and how the handlers work with their dogs.

About seven Queensland competitions are held a year in addition to Australian and overseas events.

The next competition at Tivoli is scheduled for March, where up to 540 rounds of agility are planned between handler and their trained dog.

A number of the club's national representatives are hoping to compete at next year's world championships after this year's scheduled event in Belgium was postponed.

"The club owes its reputation as the finest agility club to Cathy's commitment as chief instructor,'' Raymond said.

"As competition secretary, Cathy has much to do before each competition is held. She ensures our dates are submitted and approved a year in advance, judges are organised, grounds are booked, prizes are in stock and volunteer helpers are organised.

"Closer to the date, she makes sure that the ADAA (national body) timing equipment is at the club and collaborates with the club president regarding catering and other prizes.

"The largest part of her competition secretary is handling the hundreds of entries for each day, which requires a lot of time in organisation and communicating with handlers regarding any late changes.

"On the day, Cathy double checks all scribe and timekeeper entries, prints qualification cards, checking place getters, and publishing results in both hard copy and online.

"Cathy also wrote our COVID-19 competition plan, organising additional hygiene resources, signage, approval by CHO and the registration competitor and guest details.''



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