Central Coast Dad takes out Volunteer of the Year

Chris Lear from the Wyong Lakes Junior Football Club has been named as the 2017 AFL NSW/ACT Volunteer of the Year.

Joining the Central Coast based junior club in 2016, Lear became immediately involved with his son’s team, and it did not take long for him to put his hand up to fill the role of Junior Operations Manager.

His unmatched enthusiasm and wealth of innovative ideas has seen a substantial growth in the number of junior players within the club, which has seen two new Youth Girls’ teams emerge.

Most notably, Leer has fostered an improved relationship between the junior and senior clubs by initiating a mentoring program. Here, the Senior Leadership Group meet and provide support to the Junior Leadership Group.

The 2017 AFL NSW/ACT Volunteer of the Year winner has implemented a monthly club training night, where senior players attend a junior training session and assist with coaching.

Lear has also been the driving force of the club’s newly established communication plan, which has seen a boost in social media engagement within the community, and the creation of Motivation Monday to encourage people to get through the week.

AFL NSW/ACT Community Football Coordinator, Jacinta Houston says that Lear was a standout in an extremely competitive set of nominees.

“Chris is a very worthy winner of the AFL NSW/ACT Volunteer of the Year and it was an honour to be able to present him with the award at the Central Coast Junior Awards Night on Saturday,” said Houston.

“Volunteers don’t give up their time expecting to be recognised, so it’s great to be able to thank those that do give up their time and do any amazing job.

“Congratulations also to Nicole Crowe from the Eden Football Club and  John Sullivan from the Newcastle Central Coast Umpire Association, who were also announced as the State Merit Award recipients.

“Thank you to all clubs who nominated their volunteers this year and to all volunteers for making grassroots Australian Football in New South Wales and the ACT as great as it is.”

For his efforts, Lear will receive a money can’t buy 2017 Toyota AFL Grand Final experience where he will be flown to Melbourne for three nights during Grand Final Week to take part in the Grand Final Parade, and attend the big match on 30 September 2017.

AFL NSW/ACT would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all state-wide winners and again say thank you to all of the incredible volunteers who work tirelessly to keep our great game strong within the region.