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Hard-working, kind, empathetic, and having genuine passion are just a few of the words used to describe each of the NSWRL Community Coach of the Year winners for 2021 in the annual NSWRL Volunteer of the Year Awards.

Valley Dragons Allan Brookman was named Coach of the Year (Male), for the work he has been doing to teach his young side how to play football and bring out the best of each individual in the team; while Pauline Wagner from Kyogle SRFLC, was named Coach of the Year (Female) for her passion and drive to promote women’s tackle competitions in the Northern Rivers area encouraging those of all skills to become involved. 

“I’m blown away – it’s amazing. All I’ve wanted to do is build team spirit around having fun, being trustworthy and respectful," Brookman said

“It’s all about respect for yourself, your teammates, and the opposition. I’m proud that my boys are always positive and I love being their coach.” 

Wagner wants to play her part in making sure girls have the avenues to play their chosen sport.

“That’s what pushes me even more to get better at coaching because in our area there’s not many clubs making the effort to bring in females, or to have girls tackling," Wagner said.

“For me while I’m relatively new to coaching I’ve got a passion to keep pushing so these young girls who really want to play, have the chance to play.”

2021 Origin series-winning NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler sent a special message to congratulate both winners.
“It’s fantastic we have people like yourselves developing our game out in the country regions,” he said.  
“Without you, and without you showing care, we don’t get to develop the players into the Origin players that you see today that did so well over the last six weeks.”

The annual NSWRL Volunteer of the Year Awards recognise the invaluable contribution made by almost 30,000 people who give up their time as volunteers, officials, coaches and referees to ensure NSWRL is able to run Community Football at more than 700 clubs across the state. The awards also acknowledge the support given in the wider community as well as to the Rugby League community.

The Volunteer of the Year awards will continue to be announced over the coming weeks with the Gordon Lowrie Memorial Award for the overall 2021 Volunteer of the Year to be announced on Monday 6 September.

Upcoming NSWRL Volunteer of the Year Awards:

NSWRL Grassroots Club of the Year 
NSWRL “Gordon Lowrie” Volunteer of the Year Award 
NSWRL Indigenous Volunteer of the  Year 
NSWRL Inclusive Volunteer of the Year 
“Dennis Braybrook” NSWRL Referees Association Award (NSWRLRA)
NSWRL Coach of the Year Male – Allan Brookman,Valley Dragons
NSWRL Coach of the Year Female – Pauline Wagner, Kyogle SRFLC

Regional Volunteer of the Year winners (overall winner chosen from this list)

Volunteer of the Year Bidgee Region 
Volunteer of the Year Western Region
Volunteer of the Year Northern Region
Volunteer of the Year East Coast Region
Volunteer of the Year Southern Sydney Region
Volunteer of the Year South Coast Region
Volunteer of the Year Western Sydney Region
Volunteer of the Year Broken Bay Region
Volunteer of the Year Newcastle and Maitland Region
Volunteer of the Year Central Sydney Region
Volunteer of the Year Macarthur Region

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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