To celebrate the contribution of the state’s best community coaches, volunteers and umpires, AFL Victoria brought together over 300 guests for the annual Community Football Awards.
Recognising the dedication and tireless work of more than 80,000 volunteers across the state, volunteers from junior, youth, female and senior competitions were recognised for their outstanding contribution to their community.
AFL Victoria thanked all volunteers across the state’s 1,200 clubs for their hard work and dedication throughout the year.
Football is the cornerstone of many communities across the state with local clubs relying on the generosity of the 80,000 Victorian volunteers who dedicate themselves to the game.
Among the highlights of the evening, Ron and Beryl Banbury from the Catani Football Netball Club were the recipients of the Worksafe AFL Victoria Country Volunteer of the Year.
A member of the club since the age of 10, Beryl has been affectionately named the ‘mother’ of the club and has sustained the club through fund raising efforts, social functions and even hand sewing numbers onto footy jumpers.
Ron has been a notable player, coach, selector, recruiter, timekeeper, league delegate on the social committee and still serves as a club committee member at the age of 81.
Collectively, Ron and Beryl have dedication over 120 years of service to a Club that has survived off volunteerism. Their dedication to Catani has seen the club survive through its lows and soar through its highs.
Please see below all Community Football Award recipients:
David Parkin Junior Coach of the Year Craig Nutall Prahran JFC
Stan Alves Youth Coach of the Year Sam Stevens South Warrnambool FNC
Peta Searle Female Coach of the Year Christina Polatajko VU Western Spurs JFC
Gerard Fitzgerald Senior Coach of the Year Shane Morwood Dingley FNC
Greg Sidebottom Memorial Umpire Coach of the Year Dean Goodridge Bendigo Umpires Association
Victorian NAB Auskick Volunteer of the Year Stephen Walsh Daylesford Auskick Centre
Worksafe AFL Victoria Country Volunteer of the Year Ron & Beryl Banbury Catani FNC
AFL Victoria State Metro Volunteer of the Year Rex Ashenden Endeavor Hills FNC
Merit Award for Victoria Metro Nancy McTaggart VAFA
Merit Award for Victoria Country Richard Underwood AFL Barwon
AFL School Ambassador Volunteer of the Year Aron Lombardi Christ the Primary
Jabyn Hogarth Benton Junior College