Whether it’s the call of the first siren early on a Saturday morning, or the smell of the freshly cut wicket for Sunday’s game, there’s a real magic about community sport and active recreation, but the magic wouldn’t happen without community sport volunteers.
At a recent Recognition of Volunteers night at Government House, Sport and Recreation Victoria brought together more than 400 of these unsung heroes and legends to honour, recognise, celebrate and shine a spotlight on their achievements.
People like St Kilda Sharks football player and Proud 2 Play manager Emily Fox.
'I just recognise that being a volunteer in these spaces, is not just important for the spaces I’m volunteering in but it’s helping to set a precedent for the other people in the LGBTQI community,' Emily said.
Also there on the night was Janet Judge, Joy Smith Calisthenics Victoria Volunteer of the Year 2021.
'Just to get the acknowledgement of the Governor and Calisthenics Victoria, to be invited here is just a privilege.'
'You don’t do it for that but just to know that you’ve been accepted and appreciated is just wonderful,' Janet said.
Volunteers like these are there before the action starts, filling up the water bottles, helping competitors get ready before events, stocking the canteen and more. They’re often also the last ones to leave.
They may not be household names, but to their clubs they are the unsung heroes of their local communities and go out of their way to create supportive and inclusive cultures.