Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt will host the Mulgrave ‘Valuing Volunteers in Sport and Recreation’ Awards as part of national Volunteers Week 2010.

This Wednesday night Mr Pitt will present the awards in partnership with the relevant Cairns Regional Councillors to volunteers from White Rock south to Babinda.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of the community and most sport and recreation clubs would not be able to survive without them,” Mr Pitt said.

”There’s a virtual army of volunteers who generously give of their time and their work can often go unrecognised.

“They are the coaches, board members, time keepers, officials and first aid officers. Others work behind the scenes to prepare playing surfaces, run canteens, coordinate working bees and raise funds for the clubs they love.

“Some have applied their knowledge in fields of personal expertise to ensure continued growth, devoting hours of their own time to improve sport and recreation opportunities for organisations here in Far North Queensland.

“These people are an inspiration to all of us and highlight the great work being achieved behind the scenes, and for this they should be congratulated.”

Division 1 Councillor Paul Gregory said the recognition of our volunteers is richly deserved for the amount of time and effort put in by the worthy recipients as they provide the much needed drive to make sporting clubs successful.

“Without their efforts, families would not be able to enjoy the recreational pursuits provided by the clubs these volunteers serve,” Cr Gregory said.

Division 2 Councillor Nancy Lanskey said southsiders love their sport and hand in hand with that passion goes many hours of volunteering work.

“This commitment covers on and off field roles such as coaching and umpiring, game scoring and ground keeping, administration and committee work. Indeed, without the commitment of dedicated and skilled volunteers, many of the grassroots sporting clubs in our community would simply not survive,” Cr Lanskey said.

“These awards pay tribute to the efforts of volunteers and the many benefits that their activities bring to the communities in which they live. Those who have been recognised have no doubt contributed in excess of a lifetime of hours to the sport and recreation sector.

Division 3 Councillor Rob Pyne congratulated all recipients for their contribution to sport in the southern corridor, but paid particular tribute to Allan Oliver (rugby league) and John and Lyn Bomben (soccer).

“People of this calibre come along once in a generation, and we are a lucky to have them,” Cr Pyne said.

Mr Pitt said Queensland has the highest rate of volunteers in the country.

“38 per cent of our population participate in volunteer work – with the highest proportion working with sport and recreation organisations, Mr Pitt said.

“Volunteers help to ensure the people of Queensland continue to live active, healthy lifestyles through sport and recreation, and help the State Government work towards its goal of making Queenslanders Australia’s healthiest people.

“The Government is committed to supporting volunteers under our Toward Q2: Tomorrow’s Queensland initiative.

Mr Pitt said he would nominate one sport and one recreation volunteer for the statewide awards which will be announced at the end of the year.

The Mulgrave Valuing Volunteers in Sport and Recreation Awards for northern recipients (Cairns Regional Council area) will be presented at Fuller Sports Club in Edmonton on Wednesday 12 May from 7.00pm.

Awards for southern recipients (Cassowary Coast Regional Council area) will be held at Chjowai Hall in Innisfail on Saturday 22 May from 12.30pm.

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