AFL Queensland congratulates the following 2022 Toyota AFL National Volunteer Award Winners:
NAME: Ross Savill
AWARD: AFL Diversity National Ambassador
CURRENT ROLE: Junior Coach/Auskick Coordinator
CLUB/SCHOOL: USQ Cougars AFC
ABOUT: Ross’ enduring passion and enthusiasm for AFL has rubbed off on a generation of players and still continues to volunteer his time and energy into inspiring young kids to play our game. As our Auskick/Junior Coordinator for the past 17 years Ross has been integral to the growth and development of our football club. His tireless work within the multicultural community along with his motivation and passion to use football as an avenue for migrant and disadvantaged kids to assimilate into the footballing family as well as wider community is nothing short of inspirational and worthy of recognition.
The most inspiring part however is the generosity of his time off-field, picking up busloads of kids each week for training and every Saturday morning to ensure no barrier stands in the way of young kids playing footy. I have no doubt he personally sponsors a significant number of kids out of his own pocket, not just with registration costs but with purchasing of playing gear along and jumpers for disadvantaged kids.
Outside of football, Ross is a local Pastor who again dedicates his own time and resources facilitating youth groups and homework support for our regions multicultural and disadvantaged youth.
NAME: Laura Loucks
AWARD: AFL Primary School Teacher of the Year
CURRENT ROLE: Teacher
CLUB/SCHOOL: Tagai State College – Badu Island Campus
ABOUT: Ms Laura Loucks is a teacher based on Badu Island – Torres Strait. Her commitment to providing young people from the Torres Strait with opportunities both in and out of the classroom is outstanding. Being based on any island within the Torres Strait, leads to students missing out on sporting opportunities that others may take for granted. Laura constantly goes above and beyond in ensuring that students from the Torres Strait do not miss out on playing our great game. Laura works alongside other remote school campuses to ensure funding, accommodation and on-the-ground support is available for AFLCY Development staff to deliver programs.
This year alone, Laura’s hard work will see us visit 8 different island communities to deliver AFL programs. She is also a key part of our junior talent program (AFLCY Crusaders) – where she travels with selected students and takes on team management roles during the trips. For some of these students, it could be their first time leaving home, community and family, and having someone such as Laura on board to support them can make a world of difference.
Laura is one of the most passionate teachers I have ever had the pleasure of working with.
NAME: Paul Jones
AWARD: National Community Umpiring Service Award
CURRENT ROLE: Umpire Coordinator
CLUB/SCHOOL: Maroochydore Roos Junior AFC
ABOUT: Throughout the season Paul has been very active in the umpiring community on the Sunshine coast. He is the umpire coordinator for the Maroochydore Roos Junior AFC.
He has grown the number of umpires in the Umpire4fun program at Maroochydore throughout this year, appoints, educates and teaches umpires the skills required to be excellent junior umpires, many of the umpires he has been working with are now moving into the SEQJ field umpiring program in 2022.
Paul delivers our the umpire4fun training nights on the Sunshine coast at various clubs including North Shore, Kawana and Maroochydore (approx. 8 session). Feedback from the clubs and umpires after the Umpire4fun training sessions are that he is patient and helps all umpires regardless of their abilities, he also stays around after the sessions and speaks with the umpires when they have additional questions.
He is an active part of our umpire mentor program, observing umpire across the weekend, giving them feedback directly by either running games with umpires or observing from the sidelines and speaking with them at the breaks.
Recently at the QLD state Schools carnival (under 10-12) Paul assisted the UD with observations and feedback to our up-and- coming umpire talent from across the state, umpires and coaches were grateful for his assistance and encouragement across the 4 days.
He umpires Senior fixtures when ever we are short and accepts appointments, generally at the last minute to help us out without question.
He assists us as a department in relation to training plans for the umpire group on the Sunshine coast within the SEQ Juniors cohort.
The annual awards recognise volunteers across Australia who have made outstanding contributions to community football. All NAB AFL Auskick centres, schools, community clubs and leagues in each state and territory were invited to participate, with more than 1000 nominations received nationally.