Press attaché role for Dobson at Games

'Best job on the planet'.

'Best job on the planet'.

Diana Dobson has painted her toenails gold as a gesture of support for the New Zealand team at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Dobson is press attaché for the Kiwi weightlifting and lawn bowls teams and is excited about working with them, having filled a similar role for the eventing/dressage, trampolining and canoeing teams at the 2016 Rio Games. She cannot wait to get stuck into her role although is hoping it doesn’t feature the drama of Rio when a stray bullet came down and through the roof of the equestrian media centre and landed next to her. Picture by Paul Rickard
Poverty Bay umpire Jo Cumming will be blowing the whistle in women’s hockey games while former Gisborne lawn bowler Shannon McIlroy will compete in his third Commonwealth Games. Picture by Liam Clayton
Triathlete Tayler Reid is the only Gisborne-based athlete competing at the Games. He is in action on April 5.

Diana Dobson remembers watching New Zealand weightlifter Precious McKenzie win gold at the 1974 Commonwealth Games.

She also recalls, as a youngster, diligently filling up scrapbooks with Olympic and Commonwealth Games photos and stories — scrapbooks she suspects still exist, thanks to her mother.

So to be a direct part of the 21st edition of this sporting extravaganza has the seasoned journalist/photographer feeling a little bit like a kid on Christmas Eve.

Gisborne-born-and-bred Dobson headed to Australia’s Gold Coast yesterday primed and ready for another highlight of her busy and colourful media career.

Dobson is press attaché for the New Zealand weightlifting and lawn bowls teams at the Games, which run from April 4 to 15 and will feature 6600 athletes and officials from 71 Commonwealth nations.

It is the second such appointment for the former Gisborne Herald reporter. She had the same role for the Kiwi eventing, dressage, canoe slalom and sprint, and trampolining teams at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

A press attache’s job is to liaise between the athletes and the media.

“I’ll be helping the media get their interviews while ensuring the athletes can concentrate on winning medals and doing their best.”

It’s a busy job. She expects to be working long hours, probably every day of the Games, as well as helping out other sports if needed, if she has the time.

Dobson keen to get stuck in

But that’s how Dobson likes it; rolling up the sleeves, getting stuck in and getting the job done.

The pressure doesn’t faze her, which is just as well because controversy has reared its head in the build-up to the Games.

The 12-strong New Zealand weightlifting team feature transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard, whose selection has been questioned by the Australian Weightlifting Federation.

Hubbard will become the first transgender athlete to represent New Zealand at the Games just months after creating history as the first Kiwi to win a medal at the weightlifting world championships.

Her presence will attract plenty of media attention at the Games.

“I have met Laurel,” said Dobson, who recently attended a weightlifting team training camp.

“We got on really well. She is hugely knowledgeable about the sport and spent quite some time talking me through so much helpful information.

“She is a valued member of a really exciting weightlifting team. I am excited to be working with all of them.

“They are a great bunch of athletes . . . and there are some serious medal contenders in the group, which is very exciting. The team has a really good vibe about it.”

Like the weightlifting, Dobson has had to familiarise herself with lawn bowls, and will take special interest in the progress of former Gisborne bowler Shannon McIlroy, who will be competing in his third Commonwealth Games.

'How much is it possible to look forward to something?'

Her press pass gives her access to most sports.

She would love to see Gisborne triathlete Tayler Reid in action but that will depend on her time demands.

“The programme is all much closer together than Rio. It will be time dependent. It is a cool bonus but the priority is to do the work we are there for.”

Work she can’t wait to get stuck into.

“How much is it possible to look forward to something? I was over the moon to be asked if I would like to be part of the team.

“I’m very grateful to the New Zealand Olympic Committee for giving me this opportunity.

“It’s the best job on the planet.”

Diana Dobson remembers watching New Zealand weightlifter Precious McKenzie win gold at the 1974 Commonwealth Games.

She also recalls, as a youngster, diligently filling up scrapbooks with Olympic and Commonwealth Games photos and stories — scrapbooks she suspects still exist, thanks to her mother.

So to be a direct part of the 21st edition of this sporting extravaganza has the seasoned journalist/photographer feeling a little bit like a kid on Christmas Eve.

Gisborne-born-and-bred Dobson headed to Australia’s Gold Coast yesterday primed and ready for another highlight of her busy and colourful media career.

Dobson is press attaché for the New Zealand weightlifting and lawn bowls teams at the Games, which run from April 4 to 15 and will feature 6600 athletes and officials from 71 Commonwealth nations.

It is the second such appointment for the former Gisborne Herald reporter. She had the same role for the Kiwi eventing, dressage, canoe slalom and sprint, and trampolining teams at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

A press attache’s job is to liaise between the athletes and the media.

“I’ll be helping the media get their interviews while ensuring the athletes can concentrate on winning medals and doing their best.”

It’s a busy job. She expects to be working long hours, probably every day of the Games, as well as helping out other sports if needed, if she has the time.

Dobson keen to get stuck in

But that’s how Dobson likes it; rolling up the sleeves, getting stuck in and getting the job done.

The pressure doesn’t faze her, which is just as well because controversy has reared its head in the build-up to the Games.

The 12-strong New Zealand weightlifting team feature transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard, whose selection has been questioned by the Australian Weightlifting Federation.

Hubbard will become the first transgender athlete to represent New Zealand at the Games just months after creating history as the first Kiwi to win a medal at the weightlifting world championships.

Her presence will attract plenty of media attention at the Games.

“I have met Laurel,” said Dobson, who recently attended a weightlifting team training camp.

“We got on really well. She is hugely knowledgeable about the sport and spent quite some time talking me through so much helpful information.

“She is a valued member of a really exciting weightlifting team. I am excited to be working with all of them.

“They are a great bunch of athletes . . . and there are some serious medal contenders in the group, which is very exciting. The team has a really good vibe about it.”

Like the weightlifting, Dobson has had to familiarise herself with lawn bowls, and will take special interest in the progress of former Gisborne bowler Shannon McIlroy, who will be competing in his third Commonwealth Games.

'How much is it possible to look forward to something?'

Her press pass gives her access to most sports.

She would love to see Gisborne triathlete Tayler Reid in action but that will depend on her time demands.

“The programme is all much closer together than Rio. It will be time dependent. It is a cool bonus but the priority is to do the work we are there for.”

Work she can’t wait to get stuck into.

“How much is it possible to look forward to something? I was over the moon to be asked if I would like to be part of the team.

“I’m very grateful to the New Zealand Olympic Committee for giving me this opportunity.

“It’s the best job on the planet.”

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