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Family values and feeling supported have always been important for 2021 NSWRL (Male) Community Coach of the Year Allan Brookman having grown up in a Rugby League family and being coached by his own father when he was younger.

Brookman was nominated for his work at Valley Dragons Under 9s in Canberra where he has formed a special bond with all the children, taught them the importance of being positive and helped them with their confidence.

He has ensured players are always learning and developing skills, while building friendships and having fun, and makes sure that they always feel valued.

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

“I was born into the game growing up in a league family. My old man was my coach, so I guess I can relate to what it means to being in a team where you feel supported.

“You don’t realise the impact you can make as a coach. I try to teach them the values of how to act when you lose and being good sports when they win.

“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.”

Brookman was nominated by a mother from the Valley Dragons team, Patrice Soward, who said he has had an extremely positive influence on her own son as well as building up the strengths and confidence for all players to deal with challenges both on and off the field.

“He is hard working, kind, empathetic, organised, loving, caring, dedicated to his team, reliable, honest, trustworthy, patient, and very open with the boys,” she said.

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.

Pauline Wagner was crowned the Community (Female) Coach of the Year for her work at Kyogle SRFLC in developing female participation across the Northern Rivers region of Northern NSW.

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.