In September, this paper reported that Coolum Breakers foundation president David Ward had won the AFL Sunshine Coast Volunteer of the Year award, ahead of nine other dedicated AFL workers.
This week we can report that David has gone on to win the state award, beating five other finalists from all over Queensland.
The unassuming father of two was presented with his award at a gala ceremony on Saturday night at Brisbane’s Royal on the Park.
David said “nobody was more surprised” to win the award, which he described as humbling and motivating.
He said he viewed the award as recognition of all volunteers who gave up their time for junior players.
“You don’t do it for awards like this,” he said.
“Everybody should be congratulated for the efforts that they put in supporting kids.
“The AFL culture of developing kids, six years of age upwards, as not just improving their footy, but showing respect and developing as individuals, is of paramount importance, and I believe Coolum Junior AFL Club have got it just right.
“To be rewarded as a volunteer for doing what I love and making the contribution I have, makes me want to get more involved, but more especially, encourage others to do the same.”
David was president of the Coolum Beach Breakers JAFC for its first three years, helping take the club from merely a committee at the end of 2004 to a successful club offering the chance to play AFL to about 90 young local players.
He took a step back this year from the presidency to concentrate on finding a permanent playing facility for the club and has managed to ensure a two-year deal with Coolum High School, with the strong possibility of a longer association.
The Sunshine Coast produced another winner at Saturday’s awards, with Nambour coach David Harding winning the Senior Coach of the Year award.
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