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    IN THE RUNNING: Warrack Eagles’ Julianne Phelan is Wimmera Football Netball League’s volunteer of the month for August. She is one of six dedicated club people in the running for a league volunteer of the year accolade. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Wimmera League's loyal volunteers acknowledged

The entire September 15, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

Wimmera Football Netball League officials have announced the latest hardworking, dedicated club people to be in the running for a ‘volunteer of the year’ accolade.

The overall winner will be announced later this month, to coincide with annual Wimmera league best-and-fairest awards. 

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All six ‘volunteer of the month’ winners will vie for the overall title.

This month’s nominee is Courtney Williams of Southern Mallee Giants.

The league has also announced winners for August, Julianne Phelan, Warrack Eagles, and July, Liam Newell, Minyip-Murtoa.

Mrs Williams coaches the Giants’ 13 and unders and is Net Set Go co-ordinator. 

Club president Nicki Bellinger said the coach was first to put up her hand to help with the ‘every day’ things that kept the club ticking over and game days running smoothly, such as umpiring, first aid and scoring, which she completed ‘without fuss and with a big smile’. 

“Courtney goes beyond the norm,” she said.

“She mentors our juniors to instil a love, passion and commitment to netball. 

“She trains our juniors then trains with the seniors so she can purposely practise present-day training drills and set plays, always transferring that information to the junior girls.

“Courtney often meets the young girls at the courts just to throw a few goals and to check in on their wellbeing. She has become their voice and safe place.

“But the best thing about Courtney is she does things that I don’t know about, there’s no fuss, no ‘I did this so I’m not doing that’, things just get done. She might not be the face of the club or have the loudest voice, but she is what our club stands for – she is the quite achiever who strives for our club to not just succeed but remain unified and fun.”

Warrack Eagles leaders nominated Mrs Phelan for her work on the club’s board and helping with finances, along with game day secretary duties.

She coaches C and C Reserve netball teams, is Facebook ‘advertising queen’ and has helped set up club lotto this year. 

Mrs Phelan has also written successful grant applications and does ‘a lot of un-noticed hours behind the scenes’.

Mr Newell is in his second year on the Minyip-Murtoa Football Netball Club board and is sponsorship director. 

Club secretary Lucy Young said Mr Newell had navigated the past two seasons ‘with professionalism second to none’.

“Liam managed to not only get all previous sponsors to recommit to their sponsorship, he was still signing up new sponsors in round seven, putting the Burras in a great financial position,” she said.

“Liam has also been paramount in making sure we are abiding to the AFL COVID-19 return-to-play protocols, setting up systems and cleaning stations across both our grounds to make sure we are compliant. 

“He attends trainings and game days as our COVID safety officer to make sure these duties are being carried out. 

“As if this is hasn’t been enough, on home games Liam can be found manning the barbecue for a bacon and egg breakfast, moving to the can bar for the afternoon, with his day often ending manning the bar for the awards.”

The trio joins other volunteer of the month winners, Ararat’s Jenny Dunn, May; Horsham Saints’ Nathan Martin, June; and Nhill’s Karen Rintoule, July.