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The NSWRL has today announced the Regional Volunteer of the Year Award winners, stretching all the way from Tamworth to the Southern Highlands, with each of them making a valuable contribution to Rugby League in their local communities. 

The annual NSWRL Volunteer of the Year Awards recognises 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.

There were 11 Regional Volunteer of the Year Award winners who were acknowledged for the support they had provided to the wider community as well as to the Rugby League community.

Katie Howard from Bidgee Region helped Wagga Brothers navigate their way through the COVID-19 pandemic; Tammy Greenhalgh from Western Region overcame a personal tragedy to continue to assist Bloomfield JRL; Jack Woolaston from Northern Region has dedicated 75 years of service and had an oval named after him at North Tamworth; while Rebecca Austin from East Coast Region makes four hour round trips every weekend to help out Forster Tuncurry.

Theresa Tasaico from Southern Sydney Region was the driving force behind the establishment of Riverwood Legion JRLFC in the St George area; Chris Shea from South Coast Region got three clubs working together to combine and ensure their long-term survival as Southern Highlands; while Michael Zammit from Western Sydney Region walked more than 440,000 steps for charity and single-handedly looks after more than 850 players at St Clair JRLC.

David Zimmer juggled coaching hats for two teams for the Willoughby Roos in the Broken Bay Region; Sharon Jones from Newcastle and Maitland Region helped buy boots and pay registration fees for some players in need at Windale JRLFC ; John Critchely goes as far as collecting cans and bottles to raise funds through recycling for Five Dock RSL in the Central Sydney Region; while Robert Dreis from the Macarthur Region was instrumental in bringing the Appin Dogs out of recess in 2013 and has been there for them as President ever since.

The NSWRL has already announced other Volunteer of the Year Award winners including the Inclusive Volunteer of the Year Award - Ethan Shultz (Albury Thunder); the Indigenous Volunteer of the Year Award - Rhonda Hynch (Wilcannia Parntu); Community Coach of the Year (Male) - Allan Brookman (Valley Dragons) and Community Coach of the Year (Female) - Pauline Wagner (Kyogle SRFLC). 

The “Dennis Braybrook” NSWRL Referees Association Award (NSWRLRA) as well as the Community Club of the Year will 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.

NSWRL Volunteer of the Year Awards:

NSWRL Grassroots Club of the Year (to be announced)
NSWRL “Gordon Lowrie” Volunteer of the Year Award (to be announced) 
“Dennis Braybrook” NSWRL Referees Association Award (to be announced) 
NSWRL Indigenous Volunteer of the  Year – Rhonda Hynch (Wilcannia Parntu Warriors)
NSWRL Inclusive Volunteer of the Year – Ethan Shultz (Albury Thunder)
NSWRL Coach of the Year Male – Alan Brookman (Valley Dragons)
NSWRL Coach of the Year Female – Pauline Wagner (Kyogle SRFLC)

Regional Volunteer of the Year winners (Gordon Lowrie Memorial Award chosen from this list)

Volunteer of the Year Bidgee Region - Katie Howard (Wagga Brothers)
Volunteer of the Year Western Region - Tammy Greenhalgh (Bloomfield JRL)
Volunteer of the Year Northern Region - Jack Woolaston (North Tamworth)
Volunteer of the Year East Coast Region - Rebecca Austin (Forster Tuncurry)
Volunteer of the Year Southern Sydney Region - Theresa Tasaico (Riverwood Legion)
Volunteer of the Year South Coast Region - Chris Shea (Southern Highlands)
Volunteer of the Year Western Sydney Region - Michael Zammit (St Clair JRL)
Volunteer of the Year Broken Bay Region - David Zimmer (Willoughby Roos)
Volunteer of the Year Newcastle and Maitland Region - Sharon Jones (Windale JRLFC)
Volunteer of the Year Central Sydney Region - John Critchley (Five Dock RSL)
Volunteer of the Year Macarthur Region - Robert Dreis (Appin Dogs)

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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