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Hugh McCutcheon receives his New Zealand Order of Merit


LAUSANNE, Switzerland, May 7, 2017 – Hugh McCutcheon has been recognised in his homeland of New Zealand by being made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to sport as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th Birthday Honours. 


The 47-year-old received his award from New Zealand’s Governor General, Patsy Reddy on behalf of the Queen. The Order of Merit was instituted in 1996 and awarded to those “who in any field of endeavour have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions or other merits.”


McCutcheon, who hails from Canterbury in New Zealand’s South Island has twice led teams to Olympic medals. First he coached the USA’s team to gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and then switched to the women’s team who he guided to silver at London 2012. 


He is now head coach to the University of Minnesota and previously played volleyball and beach volleyball for New Zealand. 


While in New Zealand to accept the award McCutcheon gave his time to play and coach teams that are competing in the World Masters’ Games, a competition that McCutcheon is an ambassador for. 


The World Masters Games is the largest multi-sport event in the world. In terms of athlete numbers, it is bigger in scale than even the Olympics. Auckland hosted the event from April 21-30, during which time 25,000 athletes competed in 28 sports across 45 competition venues.


Volleyball was one of 28 sports taking place across 45 competition venues during World Masters Games. With a minimum age category of 30+ for both men and women, the competition schedule includes two volleyball disciplines.