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Auckland rugby league clubs give thanks to loyal volunteers

Auckland rugby league clubs give thanks to loyal volunteers
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The Auckland Rugby League (ARL) held their annual Volunteer’s Recognition Awards at the Mount Richmond Hotel on Sunday October 15, to recognise the devoted volunteers who willingly and continuously give their time to support the sport we all love, rugby league.

Auckland Rugby League life members Richard Bolton, Taffy Tewheoro, Evelyn Brooker and official kuia Cathy Friend QSM were in attendance. Sir Peter Leitch QSM – who inspired the conception of the volunteer awards five years ago – was also present to commend all those who continue to give to our great game.

Rugby league clubs from across Auckland each nominated a loyal volunteer to acknowledge their hard work and efforts towards their club.

Host and special projects manager Selwyn Pearson said the event is always incredibly special.

"The recipients are selected by their own clubs which is very significant because they are being chosen by their peers as their clubs stand out and special voluntary person.”

“A special mention to ARL competitions manager Pat Carthy who after speaking with Sir Peter Leitch about how valued our volunteers are, thought it appropriate to give them the recognition they deserve.”

Award recipients were each presented with a certificate, an Auckland Rugby League history book and a custom-made polo shirt. ARL board member Shane Price also gifted a car-cleaning package to each of the nominees.

Having been with the club for over 40 years, Nedaleen Taylor and Jim (Jimmy) Doolan were jointly awarded Otara’s Volunteer of the Year award.

Both have played a major role in highlighting disabled rugby league in Auckland. Jimmy recently represented NZ playing for the Physical Disability Rugby League New Zealand (PDRLNZ) side, and together they organised the Otara Scorpions disabled rugby league team – the only disabled rugby league team at club level – which competed in the Masters competition this season.

Manurewa awarded their Volunteer of the Year award to Craig Rutter for his impeccable work ethic.

Manurewa chairman Darrell Woodhouse said Craig goes above and beyond for the club and is a Marlin at heart.

“Craig has been a key part of the financial structure of our club,” he said.

“He looks after the accounts and helps with setting up registrations on LeagueNet.”

“He can go from strapping our senior teams, to ground announcing, running the gear shop and packing down the field on any given game day.

“He also volunteers outside of the club assisting the ARL and NZRL with a number of events,” he added.

Meanwhile in east Auckland, Denie and Maria Allen were named Volunteers of the Year for the Howick Hornets Rugby League Club.

As parents of three mini mod Hornets, the pair have been actively involved with the club since 2014. Denie and Maria juggle a number of roles at the club from player and manager of the Masters team to club treasurer. They also coach and help with maintenance of the club.

Shane Lipsham was awarded top honors for his invaluable contribution to the Northcote Tigers who were named ARL’s Club of the Year this season, while Emma Tobia of the Waitemata Seagulls was commended for the number of hats she has worn in support of the club this year.

“It is always inspiring to see our volunteers come together and to be acknowledged for all their hard work,” said Pearson.

“Our sport just wouldn’t function without these dedicated group of people. The support they continue to give to their clubs, the children and the sport is just wonderful.”

Club Nominated Volunteer of the Year Recipients: Bay Roskill – Una Sili, East Coast Bays – Thomas Heard, Ellerslie – Don Marginson, Glenora – Phil Moore, Hibiscus Coast – Stuart Beauvais, Howick – Denie and Maria Allen, Mangere East – Lui Tia, Manurewa – Craig Rutter,
Marist – Wayne and Annie Johnson/ the Laiman family, Mt Albert – Bevan Thomas, Mount Wellington – Brendon Toopi, New Lynn – Bob O’Brien, Northcote – Shayne Lipsham, Otara – Nedaleen Taylor and Jim Doolan, Pakuranga – Hillary Skelton, Papakura – Phil Pauro, Papatoetoe – Sally Ponting, Pukekohe – Eva Tautari, Richmond – Kyla Kaiser-Day, Tuakau – Hera Ruka, Waiuku – Hayden Rehua, Waitemata – Emma Tobia.


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