Michele Biet (Sydney Juniors) and Tony Rudd (Central Coast Referees) were among a group of volunteers honoured at the Sport NSW Awards in Sydney this week.
The Awards night, conducted at Commbank Stadium, recognised outstanding achievements and contributions to community sport in NSW over the past year which is largely carried out by a volunteer workforce.
The nine award winning category recipients were honoured at the ceremony hosted by NSW Minister for Sport, the Hon. Stuart Ayres MP.
Michele Biet from Sydney Juniors was presented the Volunteer Director of the Year Award.
As a director of Sydney Junior Rugby Union, Biet established a subcommittee of volunteers to assist all SJRU clubs, and served as the interim club administrator at the Blacktown Scorpions, saving the club from collapse.
Tony Rudd from Central Coast Referees was one of 19 recipients recognised with the Distinguished Long Service award, for his exceptional service to rugby over a period of decades.
In the Community Event of the Year category, the Youth 7s State Championships was shortlisted as a finalist.
Sport NSW Chairperson Carolyn Campbell congratulated the Awards winners on their outstanding achievements over the past 12 months.
“Community sport is critical to restoring and upholding the physical and mental health of girls and boys, men and women, of all ages,” said Ms Campbell.
“At the heart of community sport are the selfless volunteers who give up their precious time to ensure sport is played throughout the year. They are precious jewels within our sporting landscape who provide the framework and opportunity for our athletes to enjoy sport and to reach their potential.
“With World Championships, Olympic, and Commonwealth Games to be staged in Australia over the next decade, it is our magnificent community sport officials, coaches, clubs and administrators who will create the priceless foundation for our athletes to excel,” she added.
Carolyn also congratulated the Distinguished Long Service Award recipients.
“Volunteers such as those we have acknowledged with this prestigious Award are the backbone of community sport in NSW,” said Ms Campbell.
“They are the dedicated, hard-working individuals who contribute countless hours to enable thousands of men and women, girls and boys, to enjoy the health and social benefits of community sport each weekend.
“They are the unsung heroes on which sports clubs and sports communities are built, and we are delighted to honour their unflagging, dedicated work with this prestigious Award,” added Ms Campbell “Sport has been through massive challenges because of the pandemic, floods, and bushfires over the past few years, and it is because of the efforts of volunteers such as these 19 wonderful men and women that competitions have now resumed.
NSW Rugby would like to congratulate Michele and Tony for their ongoing support and dedication to rugby in New South Wales.