Kristy Smith: Balgowlah’s favourite Sun

Kristy Smith from the Balgowlah Suns is AFL NSW/ACT’s Toyota Community Football Volunteer of the Year for 2021.

The club’s Vice President has played multiple roles at the club since 2015.

She’s been a key factor in its growth, guiding it from fewer than 80 NAB AFL Auskick and U9s players in its inaugural season to more than 450 players across junior age groups in 2021.

“In 2015, I realised that there was so much potential and there was such a great community at the Balgowlah Suns,” said Smith. “I think because I was running a business from home, already involved in marketing small businesses, so I just jumped on it.

“I started building up the membership. Doing flyers to every school, making sure that we were involved in every school’s recruitment programs.

“I jumped on every single Facebook group in the area and pushed the club. So, visibility wise, it helped us become the fastest growing club in the region.

“I believed we had something from the very beginning.”

Smith’s unwavering belief that the footy club is a positive influence on the players and their families that kept her coming back year after year.

She is proud of her Community Football Volunteer of the Year award for 2021, but acknowledges that her work is part of a contribution of many dedicated community members:

“Like many volunteers, I haven’t fully appreciated the value I’ve actually given to the club until something like this award comes along. I see myself as being one volunteer in a wider community of incredible, passionate people, and loving everything about being there, but I don’t quantify that with anything other than enjoying what I’m doing. I’m really grateful to be part of a great community club.”

Congratulations on the recognition, Kristy Smith, and thank you for your work at Balgowlah Suns JAFL.