The lifeblood of grassroots football in Western Australia will be acknowledged when the West Australian Football Commission presents the 2010 RAC Football Volunteer of the Year Award at the Sandover Medal on Monday, September 13.
The recipient of the 2010 Volunteer of the Year Award will be selected from 17 finalists, with each district and region in the state represented.
Included in the 2010 RAC Football Volunteer of the Year Award is a trip for two to the AFL Grand Final, where they have also been invited to march in the Grand Final parade and attend a Grand Final breakfast function.
The 2009 recipient of RAC Football Volunteer of the Year Award was Robyn Sutton, who was recognized for her 20 years of dedicated service to the Waroona Junior Football Club.
The program has grown over the past five years, with over 500 nominations received in 2010. Anyone involved in football at any level was eligible to be nominated.
The success of the award in Western Australia prompted the AFL to initiate similar programs across Australia.
According to West Australian Football Commission RAC – Volunteer and Clubs Coordinator Glenn Morley, Western Australia has close to 50,000 volunteers involved with all different levels of Australian Rules football.
“It’s easy to take volunteers for granted but without coaches, managers, canteen helpers, boundary umpires and even the people who drive kids to games, grassroots football would not be possible,” Mr Morley said.
“The RAC Football Volunteer of the Year program aims to highlight all the time and effort these special people put into their football clubs.”
Volunteer of the Year Award Finalists
DISTRICT/REGION FINALIST YEARS OF SERVICE
Claremont Mark Paris 10
East Fremantle Maureen Gathercole 30
East Perth Mil Preiato 13
Goldfields Jeff Turner 10
Great Southern Joseph Burton 40
Kimberly Dan Thorne 4
Mid West Dezi Webb 10
Midlands Dave Flaherty 7
Peel Peter McClay 5
Perth Kristen Ridgway 5
Pilbara Ritchie Patching 8
South Fremantle Kevin Porter 20
South West Paula Jackson 6
Subiaco Ron Willmott 17
Swan Districts Garry Lovelock 25
West Perth Geoff Burwood 16
Wheatbelt Phil Salmeri 34