AFL Sydney Juniors celebrate Volunteers Week
This weekend marks AFL Sydney Juniors Volunteers Week, a time to celebrate the hardworking individuals who make our league what it is.
From coaches, grounds staff and canteen managers, to club presidents and photographers, volunteers remain the backbone of the AFL Sydney Juniors competition.
Now we would like to take the time to highlight some of the thousands of incredible individuals who make AFL Sydney Juniors the thriving competition it is.
Marelle Sharpe – East Sydney Bulldogs
Marelle has been with the East Sydney Bulldogs since 2002. Despite her own two sons outgrowing AFL Sydney Juniors age, she remains at the club helping, week in and week out.
Starting at the club by assisting the Auskick Coordinator – Marelle then becoming the Auskick Coordinator herself and has taken on a myriad of positions at Trumper Oval over the years.
Club President, Club Registrar and Team Manager, Marelle has done it all, and in her ‘spare’ time, she also helped establish the Easts’ Kickability program, to ensure that every Bulldog has the chance to play AFL.
On top of her lengthy East Sydney Bulldogs commitments, Marelle is also a member of the AFL Sydney Juniors Regional Committee, making sure the future of the league remains bright.
Matt Hort – Camden Juniors
The word ‘selfless’ is a word that gets used a lot to describe AFL Sydney Juniors Volunteers, and this is something that can never be denied.
One such example of selflessness in the league comes via Matt Hort from Camden Juniors.
Described as the ‘first person to arrive’ and the ‘last to leave’, Matt often misses out on his own son’s games to ensure the smooth running of the club.
Jess Markut – Umpiring Coach
The amount of time volunteers give their clubs, and league, is tremendous.
Time is something you cannot get back, so spending 45 minutes in a car – each way – to be coaching the future umpiring talent at Emu Plains, is a strong indication of Jess’ commitment to the game.
Assisting in increasing junior umpire numbers for the club from two to 42 since 2013, Jess has been instrumental in making sure games go ahead each week – for without the umpires, the game cannot be played.
Patrick Ward – South West Tigers
Patrick has been labelled ‘the lifeblood’ of his club, the South West Tigers.
Apart from being the President of the Tigers, he also coaches one of the teams at the club ‘with the same passion and drive in which he runs the club’.
Said to be instrumental in progressing the club’s future infrastructure plans, Pat is contributing to the growth of his club and ensuring that their gradual expansion can be accommodated for years to come.
These are just some of the incredible volunteers within AFL Sydney Juniors, with hundreds more putting their time and energy toward the league every week.
Make sure your club acknowledges its dedicated individuals this weekend during AFL Sydney Juniors Volunteers Week.
AFL NSW/ACT Volunteer of the Year and Merit Awards will be announced later in the year at club presentation nights.