2019 AFL NSW/ACT Volunteer of the Year announced

AFL NSW/ACT is delighted to announce the recipient of the 2019 Volunteer of the Year, Merinda Roll from the Dubbo Juniors Football Club in the AFL Central West region.

Roll, the first female President at her club, has been awarded the coveted prize following a nomination from the Dubbo Juniors Football Club.

 “[Merinda] has lead her club back into the AFL Central West Juniors  and has gone above and beyond to make sure that the transition was as seamless as possible,” said the nomination.

“Merinda organised pre-season events to grow interest and communicated with all 2019 participants to ensure teams would get on the park. Throughout the season, she has maintained regular communication with the parents, players, and committee members and has developed a positive relationship with the AFL Central West competition admin committee.

“Merinda has taken on more than just the Presidency. She coordinated Auskick and attended all meetings until a permanent coordinator was appointed, whilst also acting as the game day registrar for both junior teams and the welcoming face that greets every player and parent at the ground each week for training and games.”

For her efforts in helping grow the game in the Central West region, Merinda has won herself and a guest, a 2019 Toyota AFL Grand Final trip of a lifetime. The prize includes return flights and three nights accomodation in Melbourne, the chance to walk in the 2019 Toyota AFL Grand Final Parade, and an invite to Pre and Post-Grand Final functions.

Aside from the major prize of the 2019 Volunteer of the Year, many volunteers from across the region have also been recognised for their contribution to the game.

  • – AFL NSW/ACT Disability Inclusion Volunteer of the Year: Francine Trenerry from Sapphire Coast, Bermagui Breakers
  • – AFL NSW/ACT Junior Coach of the Year: Alan Martin from AFL North West NSW, Northern Inland Academy of Sport AFL Squad
  • – AFL NSW/ACT Senior Coach of the Year: Darren Bird from AFL Hunter Central Coast, Wallsend West Newcastle ARFC
  • – NAB Auskick Volunteer of the Year: Belinda Smith from Penshurst Panthers Auskick Centre
  • – AFL NSW/ACT School Ambassador: Beth Hilton from Northern NSW
  • – AFL NSW/ACT School Ambassador (Secondary): Rick Joyce from Sydney South, St. Patricks College Sutherland
  • – AFL NSW/ACT Diversity Ambassador: PrincipalMark Steed from Sydney South, Hurstville Public School

All category winners including our Volunteer of the Year, will receive an invitation to the Toyota Good for Footy AFL National Volunteer Awards held in Melbourne during May 2020, return flights, and two nights accommodation in Melbourne. 

AFL NSW/ACT also have two Merit Award recipients for their ten or more years of outstanding service to community football – Rodney Sheedy from AFL Riverina and Michael Sloan from the AFL Central West.

AFL NSW/ACT Community Football Support Manager, Jacinta Houston says that volunteers such as our award winners, are a credit to the Australian Football community.

“Volunteers are the backbone of any AFL club in the country – without them, we haven’t got a game,” said Houston.

“We know how busy volunteers are so with awards such as these, we want to say a huge thank you. We truly do appreciate all the time, effort and energy you put into AFL each season.

“We are lucky enough to have some of the best volunteers here in New South Wales and the ACT, which was evident in the quality of nominations we received. Congratulations to all the category winners – you are all very deserving recipients.”

AFL NSW/ACT congratulates all award winners and nominees, and thanks each and every volunteer for their dedication to the game in the great state and territory of New South Wales and the ACT.

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