It’s becoming a bit of a bulging trophy cabinet around the Shultz household.
Ethan, who has a mild intellectual disability, has already won the Club Person of the Year and the Volunteer of the Year awards for the Group 9 Albury Thunder Rugby League Club.
But now he’s also being recognised by the NSWRL after taking out the Inclusive Volunteer of the Year Award for starting up an All-Abilities League Tag team, nicknamed ‘Lightning’, within the Thunder club so others like himself can play the game.
“I saw the AFL club down here do something similar so I thought I may was well try to do something like it for rugby league,” he said.
“We usually play other community groups but Wagga Wagga Brothers have developed an All-Abilities team as well. They call themselves the Leprechauns.
“It would like to see this grow a bit more so we can run a mini-competition for ourselves.”
Ethan’s input to the Albury Rugby League Club doesn’t stop there. He’s one of the ground management crew that sets up for every home game.
“I got asked if I’d like to do the electronic scoreboard and I said, ‘of course’,” he said.
“I get to the ground and help set things up for game day like the goal posts and pads, corner posts. I never get tired of doing it.”
At away games Ethan videos the Thunder action and puts it up on his Facebook site.
Being rewarded for doing something he loves gives Ethan an inner sense of satisfaction.
“I’m actually really, really honoured – and a bit surprised actually,” he said.
“I didn’t realise anyone would want to nominate me because I happily do the work around the club.”