2018 Holiday Inn CRL Community Awards

Updated: July 31, 2018
2018 Holiday Inn CRL Volunteer Awards (8)

Country Rugby League will celebrate a number of its most valuable contributors next weekend at the Holiday Inn Potts Point CRL Community Awards in Sydney.

18 nominees are in the running to be receive the ‘Volunteer of the Year’, ‘Club of the Year’ and ‘Women in League Achievement Awards’ after regional voting nominations were received.

Country Rugby League are extremely thankful for the contributions volunteers make to our game and the fantastic work that our clubs do in their communities both on and off the field.

The winners will be revealed at the Holiday Inn Country Rugby League Community Awards at the Holiday Inn Potts Point on Saturday, 11th August.

CRL Volunteer of the Year Nominations:

East Coast Region – Max and Lorna Dawes (Coffs Harbour Rugby League Club)

Max and Lorna Dawes are Life Members of the Coffs Harbour Rugby League Club for their 40 years of service in various volunteer and administrative roles. Having begun their involvement as committee members in 1978 when their sons began playing for the club, Max and Lorna have gone on to hold various positions including Senior League President, Secretary, Treasurer, General Committee Member, Ground Announcer, Ground Licensee and Canteen Coordinator; all whilst managing the canteen on a weekly basis – a job which they still hold to this day. Max and Lorna continue to coordinate social functions and annual fundraisers which provide a significant income stream which enables the club to consistently upgrade its facilities.


Greater Southern Region – Colin Doran (Helensburgh Tigers)

Colin Doran is the current President of the Helensburgh Tigers Rugby League Football Club who has over 46 years dedicated service to the game in various volunteer and administrative roles. Along with his duties as Club President; Colin assists the club through various efforts including ground keeping, sponsorship, purchasing, player recruitment, fundraising and promotion. Colin has had a significant impact on his local community through his work with the Helensburgh Tigers and has been awarded the Club Service Perpetual Trophy for Volunteers four times, with only two other volunteers to have won it more than once in the clubs history. Colin has been at the forefront of making the Helensburgh club an inclusive environment for all members of the local community.


Newcastle and Central Coast Region – Michelle Cumming (Glendale Gorillas)

Michelle Cumming is the current Club Secretary of the Glendale Gorillas combined Senior and Junior Rugby League Club who combines her position with current roles as Ovals Board Secretary, Treasurer, Registrar, Social Media Officer, Event and Fundraising Coordinator and Under-12’s Manager.  Michelle has been a dedicated volunteer for the past seven years and is widely referred to as the ‘go-to’ person for all matters relating to the club. In addition to her multiple club roles, Michelle also assists to secure sponsors, train club managers, oversee the canteen manager and occasionally acts as Ground Manager when required.


Western Region – Simone Knight (Cobar Junior Rugby League Club)

Simone Knight is the current President of the Cobar Roosters who leads the small club in all aspects whilst encouraging local children to participate in the game. In her six years as a dedicated volunteer, Simone has averaged travelling over 7000km a year to ensure that children of all ages can compete in district competitions. Simone has been at the forefront of developing a club motto of ‘Pride, Leadership, Growth’ to ensure the club has a strong foundation to build upon. Simone has been a major component of club registrations growing from just 35 to 165 in recent seasons; which is a tremendous achievement in a small isolated community.


Greater Northern Region – Peter Barry (Denman Sandy Hollow Junior Rugby League)

Peter Barry is the current Treasurer and Assistant Secretary of Denman Sandy Hollow Junior Rugby League Club. During his 47-year association with the game as a player, administrator and volunteer, Peter has fulfilled various roles including Club Secretary for nine years, where he was a major contributor to Denman Sandy Hollow being named NRL Grassroots Club of the Year in 2013 and the construction of new playing fields and amenities in 2016. Along with his current roles, Peter also performs the duties of Ground Manager, Club Trainer and Assistant Coach of the Under-14’s Ladies League Tag team; whilst serving as Junior Vice President of Group 21 Junior Rugby League and Competition Coordinator of both the Mini and Mod Ladies League Tag competitions.


Bidgee Region – Bob Hay (Wagga Brothers Senior Club)

Bob Hay is a Life Member of Group 9 Junior Rugby League, and has a long standing association with both Group 9 Junior and Senior Rugby League. Since 1983 Bob has been an active member of the Wagga Brothers Junior Rugby League club where he has served as a Secretary and President. He has been a life member of the club since 2011 and to this day maintains the club website which he originally developed. During this time Bob has also acted as a long term Secretary of the Group 9 Junior Rugby League and as both President and Secretary of Wagga Junior Rugby League and a delegate for the Brothers Club at meetings. Bob continues to support the game through his services to Wagga Junior Rugby League where he has been head convener for the Country Championship and Cluster Carnivals; in recent years,  Bob has garnered sponsorship for the addition of seating and bunkers at Parramore Park and created  submissions and grant applications to local and state government for ongoing facility improvements. In his spare time Bob marks the fields for both junior and senior games, along with fulfilling duties as Registrar for the Wagga Brothers Senior club.

CRL Women in League Nominations:

East Coast Region – Tanya Booth (Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League)

Tanya Booth is currently in her seventh year as Group Secretary of the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League. Tanya has been a driving force in the establishment of Ladies League Tag in the Region in 2017 and can be attributed, through her passion and commitment, with playing a major role in 11 of the 12 clubs currently having League Tag sides participating in the competition. Whilst managing her duties as Group Secretary, Tanya has also managed her local Ladies League Tag side and been heavily involved in the formation of the NRRRL Representative Team. Tanya is an integral part of the Northern Rivers Rugby League community and is well respected by her peers.


Greater Southern Region – Connie Dallas (Jamberoo Superoos)

Connie Dallas has been a long standing advocate for Women’s Rugby League in Group 7 and is attributed with being one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Ladies League Tag competition in the area. Connie has a long association with the Jamberoo Rugby League club and is currently the Secretary and Registrar for the club; along with fulfilling Ground Managing, Ground Announcing, canteen and event management duties. In 2010, Connie received the Harold Alcock Memorial Trophy, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the game.


Newcastle and Central Coast Region – Rebecca Kenworthy (Wangi Warriors)

Rebecca is the current Secretary of the Wangi Warriors; a role she has held for the previous six years. Aside from her administrator duties, Rebecca has pursued Level 1 Sports Trainer, Club Coach, Concussion Management and Ground Manager Accreditation.  With the introduction of a Women’s Tackle competition in the Newcastle-Central Coast Region in 2018, Rebecca strove to field teams from the Wangi community. Unable to recruit sufficient numbers to formulate stand-alone teams, she worked with the neighbouring South Lakes club to ensure players could participate. Rebecca has also played a pivotal role in the formation of a Westlakes Under-14 team that saw 15 participants without a team of their own from Macquarie, South Lakes, and Wangi to combine and continue their participation instead of being lost to the game.


Western Region – Jessica Skinner (Women’s Rugby League)

In an amazing show of dedication to Women’s Rugby League, Jess Skinner is currently the Coach of the Western Rams Women’s Tackle and Ladies League Tag Representative sides. Jess also coaches the Far West Academy League Tag team, a pioneer in implementing the inaugural League Tag academy program, developing female youth across remote and rural communities in the Barwon Darling, Outback and Castlereagh Leagues. Immersing herself in football – between all of her coaching commitments, it is not uncommon for Jess to be at a training session, game or function six days a week. Through Jess’ hard work, six players from the Western region gained selection in the NSW Southern Country side for the opportunity to push for selection for the NSW Country side. Jess is also the coordinator for Rugby League at Trangie Central School and regularly takes school teams to both tackle and League Tag competitions across the region and state. It is estimated that Jess has travelled close to 12,000km to assist and provide opportunities for Women to be involved in the game in 2018 alone.



Greater Northern Region – Abby Smith (Uralla Tigers)

Abby Smith is the current Vice-President of the Uralla Tigers and Captain of the Women’s Ladies League Tag side. Abby has been instrumental in creating a supportive and encouraging environment for women in the local community to be involved in the game.  A staunch supporter of Women’s Rugby League, Abby also contributes to the club by organising charity fundraisers, liaising with the local community, catering on game days and organising club events.


Bidgee Region – Alexis Creary (Group 16 Junior Rugby League)

Alexis Creary is the current Group 16 Junior Rugby League Secretary; a role she has held for the previous three years. Alexis is a well-respected member of the community whose roles covers all aspects of the game from attending group meetings to completing match sheets over the weekend. Alexis tragically lost her family home in the Tathra fires earlier this year, but has amazingly continued to fulfil her volunteer duties each weekend which is an unbelievable example of her dedication to the game on the South Coast.


CRL Club of the Year Nominations:

East Coast Region – Mullumbimby Giants Junior Rugby League

The relatively small, yet proud Mullumbimby Giants Junior Rugby League Club have the highest Junior Rugby League player retention rates (87%) in Group 18 JRL and have grown their playing numbers by almost 20% between over the past two seasons. The Giants have been active in assisting their local community by creating fundraising opportunities for one their players who fell ill during the season. Mullumbimby are focused on creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all of their participants.


Greater Southern Region – Helensburgh Tigers Rugby League

The Helensburgh Tigers have gone above and beyond for a local family within their community in 2018. Stanwell Park resident Caleb Clark suffers from infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy, a disease affecting the nervous system leaving him unable to walk or talk.  Round-the-clock care and the cost of essential household modifications go well beyond what most families can afford, so the Tigers wore special Wiggles jerseys for Caleb that were later auctioned as part of a $50,000 fundraising effort. In addition to this, on their bye round weekend, Helensburgh Tigers players and officials descended on the Clark household for a working bee to work on modifications to their home including a path onto the street and renovations to the bathroom. The Tigers have also raised $3500 through their fundraising efforts in support of Beanies for Brain Cancer in 2018.


Newcastle and Central Coast Region – Windale Junior Rugby League Club

Remarkably, the Windale Senior and Windale Junior Clubs rank first and third across 98 Regional clubs in terms of Player Retention from 2017 – 2018. This achievement comes after the club went into hiatus in 2014 due to lack of player and volunteer numbers. The club are constantly active within their local community and celebrates events such as Easter and Christmas with functions for their players, families, sponsors and supporters. With an expanding participation base, Windale continue to be actively involved with local primary schools and have supported community awareness and fundraising activities like Shoosh for Kids, Beanies for Brain Cancer, Leukemia Foundation and Centre for Hope this season.


Western Region – Cobar Roosters Junior Rugby League

The Cobar Roosters are a focal point of their outback mining community and through strong leadership and innovative programs the club has grown from 44 participants to 136 over the past few seasons. To overcome the obstacle of having to travel hundreds of kilometres to play a single game, the Roosters have successfully sustained an in-town competition for players aged 5 to 9 years which is played on Sundays to allow players to have the opportunity to learn and develop their skills in a friendly environment without the burden of travel. For players aged 10 to 16 years, the club has worked with community transport providers and its sponsors to enable affordable travel to away games at Wellington (350km), Dubbo (300km), Narromine (270km) and Nyngan (130km). Together with the Senior Rugby League Club, the Roosters have submitted an expression of interest for a Rugby League Facility Development, showing the foresight required to sustain the sport and community in the future.


Greater Northern Region – Ashford Junior Rugby League

In just two years since the clubs inception, Ashford Junior Rugby League Club has become an integral part of their local community by providing an outlet for young people to be actively involved in the game.  With a total population of less than 1000, the Ashford club has gone from having one team to now having 95 active participants involved in both tackle and League Tag formats. Husband and wife duo Craig and Kat Tulczyn have been instrumental in working with local government organisations to provide new dressing rooms and a canteen for the club, whilst creating a culture of participation in a club run by the people, for the people.


Bidgee Region – Wagga Kangaroos Junior Rugby League

Wagga Kangaroos are the largest club in Group 9 Junior Rugby League with an expanding participation base which currently consists of 248 males and 89 female players and a player retention rate of 85.96%. The club commenced a business plan eight years ago, that included initiatives such as opening their registration database at the first opportunity, providing positive coaching meetings that promoted good sportsmanship and ensuring their volunteers are compliant and skilled in all required aspects of the game.  The club have also made sacrifices for the betterment of the competition by fielding teams in both the Northern and Southern Pools where another club may not have a team. This results in a lot of family management and sacrifices that helps to reduce bye rounds for the rest of the competition, ensuring more opportunities for players to enjoy the game.