Eight Illawarra clubs have a nervous wait ahead of them to see if they will be crowned winners at this year’s Clubs & Community Awards.
The Awards recognise the immense contribution NSW clubs make to their local area and to the state in general across a range of key categories.The eight Illawarra clubs are nominated in the following categories; Arts and Culture, Environment, Heart of the Community, Youth, and Sport.ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said that this year’s Awards had a record number of entries making the competition tougher than ever.“The Clubs & Community Awards is the night of nights for the not-for-profit club industry and gives us the opportunity to recognise those clubs that are going above and beyond for their communities,” he said.“You just have to look at the finalist clubs from Illawarra to see what a critical role they play in the community.“I would like to wish the eight Illawarra club finalists all the best and congratulate them on their innovative, exciting and effective programs that make such a difference to people across the local area.”The Bomaderry RSL Club has been nominated in the Heart of the Community category for their work with the Bomaderry RSL Charity trust. Last year, the Bomaderry RSL Charity Trust donated a whopping $68,700 to 19 worthy recipients. Some of the recipients included Shoalhaven Nowra Auxiliary, scout groups and a special needs school.AGA Club Germania is a finalist in a brand new category, Arts and Culture, for their support of Oktoberfest and providing a club that meets the needs of the German community. The Club is predominately run by volunteers and while it continues to support the entire community, Club Germania plays a special role in supporting people of German heritage in the Illawarra.Dapto Leagues Club is a finalist for the role they play in promoting environmental sustainability. The Club is a leader in sustainable best practice and has a Green Team at the Club looking at new and innovative ways to reduce its environmental footprint. For example, they discovered that only 3 per cent of polyethylene plastic is recycled, so the Club began to collect plastic bags and wrap, bag them separately and take them to a specialised recycling plant and now staff even bring their own plastic bags in from home to take advantage of the program!Russell Vale Golf Club has been nominated in the Heart of the Community category for their support for the local community. Over the last year, the club donated over $15,000 to charities including Motor Neurone, MS, Cancer Carers and the Salvation Army.Wollongong Tennis Club is a finalist for their commitment to local sport. The club modified two underutilised courts into hotshot courts. These courts not only increase participation amongst younger players, they also enable people with disabilities to enjoy the game.Ensuring everyone has the same opportunity to participate in sport is the reason why the Shellharbour Club is a finalist in the Sport category. The Club donated $7000 to Illawarra’s Special Olympics team which was used to buy uniforms and fly 14 team members to Melbourne to participate in the National Games. The team returned home with a whopping 23 gold medals, 6 silver medals and 10 bronze and the community couldn’t be any prouder.Wests Illawarra has been nominated for their support of young people in the local community. For the last 15 years, the club has hosted the Illawarra Youth Achievement Awards to recognise inspirational youth. Last year’s awards saw 100 applicants and each category winner took home $1,500 to assist them in their endeavors. Last year’s winner of the Special Achievement Principal’s Nominee Award winner was Stephanie Pinilla who is balancing her HSC studies while being the full-time carer of her mother who suffers from MS. Awards like these help students like Stephanie achieve their dreams.Woonona Bowling and Recreation Centre’s commitment to the community has been strong since they were founded in 1892 and it is this commitment that makes them a finalist in the Heart of the Community category. The Club provides particular support for local schools and people with disabilities.Corrimal RSL Memorial Club nominated the Woonona-Bulli Junior Rugby League Club President Troy Jones and Brenton Ashford-Potter for Heart of the Community Award for their work with the local football team.The Awards will be judged by an expert judging panel including Australian philanthropist and actress Paula Duncan AM, former Minister for Gaming and Racing Kevin Greene, Centre for Volunteering Chairperson Valerie Hoogstad and former ClubsNSW Deputy CEO Wayne Krelle.The Illawarra club finalists will find out if they are winners in their category at the official awards ceremony on 8 May at the Awards night at the Royal Hall of Industries, Moore Park.List of Illawarra club finalists:Woonona Bowling and Recreation Club – nominated in the Heart of the Community categoryAGA Club Germania – nominated in the Arts & Culture categoryBomaderry RSL Club – nominated in the Heart of the Community categoryRussell Vale Golf Club – nominated in the Heart of the Community categoryThe Shellharbour Club – nominated in the Sport categoryWests Illawarra – nominated in the Sport and Youth categoriesDapto Leagues Club – nominated in the Environment categoryWollongong Tennis Club – nominated in the Sport category
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