Renee Davison won the Spirit of Sport award, ahead of finalists Barry Kelly and Steve Gray.By Zach Hubber
Sporting clubs depend on the tireless efforts of volunteers to survive and that was reflected when Echuca-Moama Hockey Club member Renee Davison won the Spirit of Sport award.
Renee’s commitment and passion for junior development at all levels was a key factor in her winning the award. She was described by her nominator as the ‘‘backbone’’ of the club for several years.
The 20-year member was excited to have been recognised.
‘‘It’s really good to be recognised for putting your passion in,’’ she said.
‘‘I think everyone needs to be commended at the club.’’
Renee arrived at the club as a 16-year-old when she moved to the district from Kingscliff, NSW, with her family.
She said she was relieved when she found out there was a hockey club in Echuca.
‘‘I made the decision to ditch netball from under 9s and took up hockey,’’ she said.
‘‘My parents moved down here first and they said, ‘There’s a good club down here, it’s okay’.
‘‘So I did the junior stuff here and played Friday night Melbourne hockey with Essendon.’’
Renee said it was the support she received from senior members when she was a teenager that encouraged her to succeed, something she was doing with the juniors today.
‘‘You just want to give back, that’s the rewarding part,’’ she said.
‘‘I don’t know what it is personally that you get from it, it’s just being there, being involved with the kids and the excitement they have is a result of being able to pull it all together.
‘‘I find sport like it’s my family. I don’t have close family down here, so my hockey club has become like a family where we all support each other through everything we do.’’
The Kyabram resident took on the roles as club secretary and vice-president last year, as well as being the club representative on the Goulburn Valley junior committee, under 13 and under 17 coach and joint A grade women’s co-ordinator, among other club and regional responsibilities.
Renee is also the head coach of the River Rats’ Hook in2 Hockey program, overseeing more than 100 young participants.
‘‘My passion is now the juniors and ensuring everyone is kept happy and getting what they need out of their sport,’’ she said.
‘‘They idiolise you and they think you’re wonderful, which makes it important for us senior members to give our time to them.’’
The 36-year-old’s four children are all involved with the club, while Renee is hopeful of going around again with the A grade women’s side in 2013.
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