With the deadline looming for sports nominations for the Port Macquarie Hastings Sports Awards at the end of this month, it's time to consider those individuals who have made an impact in their chosen sport as a competitor or as a volunteer.
Linda Dewbery was selected as the Hastings Physiotherapy sporting volunteer of the year for 2018 for her services to Port Combined Netball Club, a club she has been involved with for the past 12 years.
Linda is the current president of the club and has just been re-elected for another year.
Her involvement grew following her daughter's early playing days and then through coaching and being on the committee.
"I love that it is not just about playing and winning but the impact of being involved as a group in wider community activities," she said.
"This year the club has volunteered at Ironman, had a shoe drive with donations sent to Fiji and also conducted a blanket and food drive for Vinnies.
"It's about the people you meet and the community you're involved with.
"The club also sponsored three young people to attend Luminosity Youth Summit. It's more than getting involved in sports, it's about getting involved with our community."
With nominations closing at midnight on September 30, the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie Sunrise are encouraging every sports-minded family or club to jump online and nominate their teams, individuals and especially recognise those volunteers whose efforts mean their sport happens each season.
"Time goes so fast and life is so busy but it would be such a shame for those sportspersons or volunteers deserving of recognition to be missed or overlooked," Rotary Sunrise president Carolyn Ireland said.
"Our online form is designed to quickly capture some key points and the essential contact details in less than five minutes.
"With $7,000 in prizes donated by local businesses and awarded to local athletes, the recognition and prize money goes a little way to help them achieve their sporting dreams, and that is our aim with these awards," she said.
Nominations need to be made online at http://sunrise-rotary.org.au/sportsawards/ and there are eight highly sought after categories and a link to apply for the Wayne Richards Sporting Scholarship.
For long-time netball volunteer, Linda Dewbery, it's about everyone who volunteers at the local sporting level.
"It takes a real team commitment to make local sport happen, week in, week out."
With netball in Port Macquarie-Hastings area continuing to grow, the hours of dedication from the gear steward, the fundraising co-ordinator, the canteen co-ordinator, to the umpire convenor to ensure things run smoothly is as important as ever.
"When I won the volunteer award I was obviously happy to have my efforts recognised, but I was really happy to have our sport in the spotlight.
"But winning is not why you put your hand up to help and I know there's plenty of people out there volunteering their time for whatever cause they're passionate about."
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