2011 - Darryl Sanders
WEST Perth District Volunteer Darryl Sanders was recognised for more than 15 years of dedicated service when he was named the 2011 WA Football Volunteer of the Year at the WAFL’s Sandover Medal count (Monday, September 19).
Mr Sanders was announced as the overall winner from 17 regional and district finalists and more than 850 nominees. He received a trip for two to the AFL grand final and will also march in the Grand Final parade and attend a Grand Final breakfast function.
Mr Sanders was nominated for the award by West Perth District Manager Andrew Ridley, who said his love of the game had stood the test of time, seeing him continue his involvement with football long after his son had finished playing Auskick.
"For more than 15 years, Darryl Sanders has spent countless hours a week as a volunteer for the West Perth football district and in clubs within our District – notably his time at the Whitford JFC," Mr Ridley said.
"Darryl was awarded life membership of Whitfords JFC in 1999 and during his time at the club took on the roles of club president and secretary for a combined total of 10 years before becoming involved with the Junior Competition Committee in 2006. He is the current junior competition director for the district.
"In 2010 Darryl was awarded life membership of the West Perth DFDC for his service where he has held the position of Competition Director for more than five years.
"Darryl would easily contribute in excess of 20 hours volunteering for football each week during the season and 10+ even through the summer months. The work this individual does is spectacular. He has a true love of the game, a passion and wants to make a positive difference.
"It takes a special kind of volunteer to become involved at a District and Commission level where they sometimes come under a lot of pressure. It’s remarkable when people whose own children go through the club and no longer play football choose to remain in a club environment. It’s an awe-inspiring thing and the game certainly owes them a mark of respect," he said.
WA Football Commission Club Development and Coaching Co-ordinator Glenn Morley congratulated Mr Sanders on winning the award and emphasized the crucial role that volunteers play at all levels of football.
"WA has more than 46,000 volunteers participating every week in the game at all levels and without them the game would be lost. There are so many aspects of our game that just wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and commitment of our volunteers," Mr Morley said."Volunteers are involved at all levels whether it’s in the canteen, umpiring, peeling oranges, coaching or driving their kids to the game. The WA Football Volunteer of the Year program aims to elevate the standing of volunteers to that of a star. Just like you have star players and star coaches we want to recognise star volunteers."
2010 - Maureen Gathercole
Ms Gathercole was one of 17 finalists selected from over 500 nominees. She was thrilled to receive the award from West Coast Eagles coach John Worsfold and RAC representative Scott Marsh, who congratulated her on outstanding service to football.
Ms Gathercole, a former primary school teacher, hopes more young people will volunteer their time and effort to grassroots football.As the 2010 RAC Football Volunteer of the Year, Ms Gathercole was the recipient of a trip for two to the AFL Grand Final, where she has also been invited to participate in the Grand Final parade and attend a Grand Final breakfast function.
She said she was very excited about attending this year’s AFL grand final, having wanted to for years but never being able to afford it. Ms Gathercole was nominated by East Fremantle District Manager Troy Kirkham, who described her as one of the most important people at the East Fremantle Football Club.
"Maureen simply does everything and even that is underestimating the role she plays at the club," Mr Kirkham said.
"She has taken on many responsibilities within the club including the role of official club historian, editing the Shark Attack Member Magazine, assisting in the property room and repairing all of the club’s jumpers. In addition to this she attends the funerals of all past players and member of the East Fremantle Football Club.
"She also plays ‘mum’ to all the colts and development squad players, who she calls ‘her boys’. The way in which Maureen takes all new colts players under her wing to support them in their first true year at the club is a testament to the type of lady she is.
"She cooks for them, cares for them, boosts their self esteem when required and also keeps them grounded at other times. She does it all and then some," Mr Kirkham said.
"She not only imparts her skills and energy in her volunteering but also imparts her love."
Now in its fifth year, the award has grown to receive over 500 nominations. Anyone involved in football at any level was eligible to be nominated.
RAC Insurance General Manager Sales and Marketing Scott Marsh said the RAC was proud to be able to acknowledge someone as dedicated as Ms Gathercole.
"The RAC Football Volunteer of the Year Award is a great way to recognise those very important people who often don’t get a chance to shine," Mr Marsh said.
"I would like to congratulate Ms Gathercole and all the finalists for the outstanding work they do for their local footy club."
According to West Australian Football Commission Volunteer and Clubs Community Development Coordinator Glenn Morley, Western Australia has almost 50,000 volunteers involved with all different levels of Australian Rules football.
"Sometimes it is easy to forget all the time and effort people like coaches, managers, canteen helpers and Club committee members volunteer to make football possible in Western Australia," he said.
"The aim of the RAC Football Volunteer of the Year is to highlight the contribution people like Maureen Gathercole make to grassroots football and without whom it would not be possible."
2009 - Robyn Sutton
After 20 years of dedicated service to Waroona Junior Football Club, Mrs Sutton was named Peel District finalist to represent the district as one of 17 award finalists. As overall winner of the RAC Volunteer of the Year Award, Mrs Sutton received a trip for two to the AFL grand final including flights, accommodation and a grand final breakfast function.
Mrs Sutton was thrilled to recieve the award from West Coast Eagles coach John Worsfold and Fremantle coach Mark Harvey along with RAC Executive General Manager Motoring Mike Heath, who all congratulated her on years of outstanding service to junior football.
Mrs Sutton, whose sons finished playing five years ago, said she didn’t volunteer her time for the recognition but simply loved being part of the community and playing a role at the football club. She and her husband are now anxiously awaiting their trip to Melbourne, with neither having flown in a plane before.
Mrs Sutton was nominated by fellow club member Kerry Shore, who described her as the backbone of their small community.
"She commenced her volunteer work with our junior football club in 1989 as club secretary as her oldest son had started playing and she wanted to be involved. During this time Robyn helped wash team jumpers each week, gave other boys lifts to games and helped out in the canteen.
"In 1996 when we were struggling to fill the canteen manager position, Robyn stepped in and said she would take it on, as well as being secretary, and continued holding both positions until 2003 when she decided that she would step aside as secretary.
"Robyn is still our Canteen Manager. This is no small job, as we operate on Saturdays for home games and then on Sundays when our seniors play. Robyn is present the whole time the canteen is open. A general Saturday home game would see Robyn start at 7.30am to see the arrival of fresh bread and start everything up, work and oversea the canteen, clean and lock up possible finishing about 3pm."
2008 - Craig Cahill
Mr Cahill is a life member of both the Capel-Dardanup and South Bunbury Football Clubs and was announced as the winner ahead of 16 other Regional and District Finalists at the 2008 Sandover Medal last night.
South Bunbury Vice President Ralph McColl nominated Chunky for the award and spoke of his volunteer work for the club.
"Chunky is a true worker in every sense. He marks the fields, works the kiosk, manages the list and does a lot of hard work around the club," Mr McColl said.
Mr Cahill has dedicated himself to the club for more than a decade. As Club President for the last nine years Mr Cahill manages football operations, takes equipment to away games and even manages catering at club functions.
Mr Cahill is also the driving force behind the Saturday market days during the summer, raising much needed funds for the club.
As the 2008 RAC Football Volunteer of the Year, Mr Cahill has won an all expenses paid trip for two to the AFL Grand Final where he will be an honoured guest at the prestigious Olympic Room Function.
2007 - John McCullum
John McCallum has been involved with junior football on a voluntary basis for 26 years.
He became actively involved with the Cardinals Junior Football Club in 1981 when his son started playing football. In 1983 he became Treasurer of the Cardinals Junior Football Club and held that position until 1986 when he became President of the Club.
John provided outstanding service to the Cardinals and the community during his years as a club official. He is warmly regarded by the older members of the club. He was very actively involved in recruiting people for various office bearer positions (often taking on the responsibility of another position himself) and his efforts kept the junior club running.
John remained President until 1990, at which time he was honoured with the award of Life Membership in recognition of his wonderful contribution to the Cardinals.
John then joined the Central Districts committee as Fixtures Coordinator and in 2004, moved to his current position of Registrar with the Claremont Districts Junior Competition Council.
He has been a very capable Registrar, always happy to move fixtures to suit various teams and their requirements. As an indication of his commitment, instead of touring around Europe this year with his wife, he stayed behind to ensure that the junior football fixtures in the Claremont District were organised!
2006 - Sheryl Ward
- Sheryl Ward has been involved in junior football for over 20 years.
- 3 years with Southern Coogee Junior Football Club (sausage sizzles, canteen and everything else)
- 7 years as Treasurer
- 7 years on the Regional council as Treasurer and 3 years on the DFDC as secretary
- Attends a junior game every weekend