Two major awards in the one month for Sydney rugby league volunteer Theresa Tasaico has left her head spinning.
“It’s craziness isn’t it? I am very shocked,” said Tasaico, who initially won the Gordon Lowrie NSWRL Volunteer of the Year award, which then put her in the running for the national EISS Super NRL Volunteer of the Year.
Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler and Harvey Norman Sky Blues five-eighth Corban McGregor made a video call to Tasaico’s home, which she thought was just to congratulate her on the NSWRL award.
She won it for being one of the driving forces in re-establishing the Riverwood Legion JRLFC in the St George District of southern Sydney.
Tasaico is Club Secretary, Executive Board Member, Team Manager and Canteen Manager, is Vice President at the St George Junior League Club, and has started up a range of women’s and girl’s Monarch Blues Tag teams, and Men’s A Grade and Over-35s Blues Tag teams.
“Freddy asked me a bit about Riverwood and what I did and congratulated me on my first award, because I thought that was what the call was about,” she said.
“So, then he told me I was in the running for the EISS Super NRL award and that’s gone through a panel of directors - and we’re here to tell you that you’ve won it!
“And I said ‘Shut up!’ because I didn’t believe him. I know, I actually told the Origin coach to shut up.
“My husband was in shock after that…. I just couldn’t believe it; I didn’t know what to say. Freddy was so good to talk to and Corban too – she was really nice.”
She doesn’t want to take all the credit saying she has a strong team of fellow volunteers beside her.
“Well everyone does their bit – you just do what you do because you love it and you want to help,” she said.
“You don’t think about how much you’ve done, or awards, or anything like that.”
The reaction among family and friends has been overwhelming.
“Everyone told me I’m deserving of it because they see the hours I put it in,” Tasaico said.
“But they are hard workers too, who really put in as well.
“So, it’s just good for the game I guess to see that volunteers do get recognised – there are people watching, seeing what you do and appreciating it.”
Husband Daniel might have to re-arrange the bedroom to accommodate all his wife’s awards.
“He cried for me… poor thing, he was just so proud,” Tasaico said.
“He was sitting near me when Freddy told me and the tears started to come. My daughter also started crying – she was trying to tape it but when she saw her father cry, she was gone too. It was very sweet.”
So now a fun-filled decision awaits on whether to attend the 2022 NRL Grand Final or a State of Origin game.
“I’m swaying more to Origin,” Tasaico said.
“I would love to see the Blues play, because I’ve never been to an Origin game. That would be a big tick off my bucket list.”