THE West Australian Football Commission presents The Sunday Times Volunteer of the Year Award annually to one of 17 regional and district finalists at the WAFL's Sandover Medal count.
All finalists are invited to the Sandover Medal presentation, with the winner announced on the night and receiving a trip for two to the AFL grand final where they march in the Grand Final parade. The prize also includes flights, accommodation and a grand final breakfast function.
WA was the first State to recognise its volunteers on such a large scale. The award’s success has prompted the AFL to run the program nationwide.
Anyone involved in football at any level is eligible to be nominated for the award through their local region or district or by the WA Football Commission.
WA Football Commission Manager of Programs Kane Benson said WA had more than 46,000 volunteers participating every week in the game at all levels and without them the game would be lost.
“There are so many aspects of our game that just wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and commitment of our volunteer."
“Volunteers are involved at all levels whether it’s in the canteen, umpiring, peeling oranges, coaching or driving their kids to the game. The WA Football Volunteer of the Year program aims to elevate the standing of volunteers to that of a star. Just like you have star players and star coaches we want to recognise star volunteers.”, Mr Benson said.
Some special ways to thank a volunteer include: