Steve Ray

2009 State Volunteer of the Year - Steve Ray

Friday, April 23, 2010

As always, it is a struggle at the start of and throughout the season to find volunteers to assist with the basics of running a football club. However, a little AFL angel hand delivered us Steve Ray and since then the club has not looked back.

Steve came to the club to have a run with 4th grade, however his dream of becoming a footballer was short lived after his knee went on strike. Instead of walking away Steve contacted the Committee and volunteered his services to the club. While Steve is the official team manager of 3rd grade, his services and jobs around the club have benefited all grades (i.e. grades 1 to 4, women team and U18).

Steve, is the definition of a one-man band. He is always the first at the ground on match day and at training which he gets to by bus. He is also the last to leave. He organises the volunteers to assist on game day (including official game day duties and running of the canteen) before taking over the time-keeping and scoreboard duties.

This is after he has been to the wholesaler during the week to buy all the non-perishables for the canteen and after he has made an early morning visit the butcher and bakery for our fresh supplies needed for the day. Steve has also been arranging season photographs and videos (again for every grade) at different home games.

The club officials, are always surprised to find that upon arrival at the ground, Steve, has already put out the goalpost pads and interchange seats. Steve single-handedly organises all the essentials for match day, from footballs to the esky and the ice that fills it.

At the end of the day, he's on the phone, ringing through the results and packing the ground up, often by himself.

The club also owes a huge amount of gratitude to Steve's partner Karen for her support of Steve and the club, her patience and generosity and for baking up some great delights to sell at the canteen.

Our 3rd grade coach has been associated with footy clubs for 33 years and admits that he has never seen an individual so dedicated. He has even arranged the end of season team photographs.

At times, it's very difficult to find good help at clubs outside the traditional AFL states, particularly in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, where there are many alternatives to spending your weekends at the footy. It is fair to say that without Steve and his help, our club would have had a very different success level and a very different culture.

The years that Steve has been involved has seen our club go from strength to strength and his work around the club has helped foster a positive vibe which has long-term benefits. Every club would be lucky to have a Steve Ray, the Bulldogs owe a lot to Steve and his work.

Steve works full time at the Cancer Council. Where he finds the extra time to put in so much for us has got us all baffled.

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