Regional Sports Assemblies recognise volunteers and competitors with award ceremonies
Community sporting clubs are nothing without the people who work day in, day out to ensure that they can thrive. For that reason, it is important that we acknowledge the people who work hard to make sure community sport in regional areas is as exciting as it can be.
On Friday the 17th of February, two of our member RSAs, the Mallee Sports Assembly and the Wimmera Regional Sports Assembly, hosted award nights to recognise the achievements of some of the volunteers and competitors throughout their respective regions.
The Northern Mallee Sports Star of the Year Awards entered its 31st year this year, striving to honour sporting stars, but also the volunteers who work hard to ensure that their community sporting clubs can thrive.
Speaking to Regional Sport Victoria, the executive officer of Mallee Sports Assembly, Carmel Mackay, echoed this by reaffirming what the awards mean to the community.
“The Awards are a huge community celebration, honouring achievements, not just about medals and trophies, giving recognition to the magnitude of dedication and the contributions which makes our sport great,” she said.
“It also promotes participation, health & wellbeing, social connectedness, inclusion, and embracing culture & diversity, for all ages and abilities.”
Wimmera Regional Sports Assembly’s awards night, the Wimmera Sports Star of the Year Awards, very much served the same purpose. Recognition was at the forefront, with so many people dedicating so much of their time to making sure sport can thrive in regional areas.
Executive officer of Wimmera, David Berry reaffirmed this when speaking to Regional Sport Victoria, whilst also emphasising the support they received from clubs and associations in making sure people were recognised for their hard work.
“After three years of no event the support provided by the clubs and associations was most pleasing. The sports star of the year awards gives clubs and associations the opportunity to reward those hardworking volunteers and high achievers within their organisations, which is recognition they normally wouldn’t receive in their communities,” he said.
One person who was deservedly acknowledged for his hard work, was the coaching director/Men’s coach of the Horsham Hornets Basketball Club, Scott Benbow.
Winner of the Bentley Group Unsung Hero award, Scott dedicates a lot of time to his duties at Horsham, alongside his responsibilities outside of the club. These are the types of volunteers that every club needs to stay afloat, and Scott is very much the lifeblood of the Horsham Hornets.
Speaking to Regional Sport Victoria about his award win, Scott mentioned how grateful he was to receive the honour and what it felt like to be recognised for the work he puts in.
“It’s really humbling. It’s not the reason why I do it, but it is nice to know that someone thought highly enough of what I’ve [done] to nominate me. So yeah, I am very humbled and very thankful.”
With each award evening emphasising the significance of those who volunteer their time to regional sporting clubs, Scott also stressed how important it can be to be involved in community sport and to encourage other to get involved as well.
“It’s huge, especially after COVID too. Volunteers are really hard to come by now so I try and do that positive thing where you make people want to do it with you, encourage people to come along and sort of teach them along the way. It’s just really important,” he explained.
“I have real passion for Horsham. I love the place and I’ve had some really good mentors in my time, so I guess I’ve had some good people to teach me and I’m trying to hand that down.”
For more news and information, stay tuned to the Regional Sport Victoria website and social media pages.