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The Seven Year Volunteer

Meet Kit Erskine, who has volunteered at Cynosport for the last seven years. [VIDEO] By Brenna Fender


Volunteers at the Cynosport World Games are generally dedicated fans of agility. Most volunteer when the event is in their area of the country, or when they are traveling with a friend who is a competitor, or perhaps when their spouse is judging the competition. 

A few members of the agility group NOMAD (Northern Magic Agility Club) in Vermont don't need those reasons to volunteer. Lisa Barrett and Lynn Von Trapp are two who have gone to many Cynosport events, even crossing the country to work. Unfortunately, they weren't able to attend this year, but seven-time-Cynosport volunteer Kit Erskine was able to represent NOMAD at the Tennessee site, keeping their streak alive. Kit is well-known on any Cynosport show site, thanks to his very visible job of being the gate steward in the main ring. 

In every day life, Kit Erskine is a psychoanalist. Some of the skills he uses at work come in handy in his weekend career as an agility gate steward. He enjoys helping competitors get into the right frame of mind before they step into the agility ring. 

This year, Kit brought his dog, Lickety Split, a six-year-old mixed breed, to the Cynosport World Games. Kit balanced competing with volunteering, adding a whole new dimension to the event for him. He enjoyed the experience, calling it "a blast."

I sat down with Kit during a break in his work schedule to find out more about what it's like to work at such a big event, and how it feels to compete after years of serving Cynosport as a worker. Kit offered tips on how to be a good gate steward and how volunteering can positively impact your ability to compete. His advice to new competitors is, "As a competitor, all I can say is, just come for the ride. Just come for the fun and the joy of being with all these other great competitors and great dogs at the biggest agility party I've ever seen."

I recorded the interview just for reference, but Kit turned out to be a delightful interviewee with tons of great information to share, so I thought you all deserved to see him speak rather than just read his words on your screen. 

Click here to see the video.

Lickety Split on course at the Cynosport World Games. Photo courtesy of GreatDanePhotos.

Brenna Fender is the editor of USDAA.com news, among other things. She lives in Florida with her husband, two children, four dogs, three rats, two rabbits, and a partridge in a pear tree. She can be reached at bfender@usdaa.com. 

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