CELEBRATING CLUB VOLUNTEERS
Moving rural never stopped Paul Kennedy from giving up his time to volunteer at junior football clubs.
Kennedy swapped the big city lights for a more relaxed lifestyle in Seymour 18 months ago and became involved with the Seymour Junior Football Netball Club.
After stints in Richmond and Hawthorn with junior football clubs, volunteering was etched into Kennedy’s mind after a solid four years of giving back.
‘‘It is something that I love doing, I have got young kids who run around, so while I am there watching I might as well make myself useful,’’ Kennedy said.
Kennedy, in his 50s, is on the committee at Seymour, organising the coaching and day-to-day match operations, including timekeeper, goal umpires and canteen operators.
‘‘I love helping out, without volunteers there is no real family feel to a club, at Seymour it is a community-based feel and I think that bodes well for the future,’’ Kennedy said.
Once a junior footballer himself, Kennedy sees his young boys Rory, 9, and Jack, 10, run around in a Lions jumper.
‘‘For most people your involvement goes in cycles, you play as a youngster, leave the game for a little while and then your children bring you back into it,’’ Kennedy said.
‘‘Like all parents, it is a thrill to see your children running around and enjoying themselves playing a sport.’’
Kennedy puts about six hours a week in and like many volunteers they would rather go through unnoticed for what they do, but Friday morning’s breakfast was a thrill for a stalwart of the game.
‘‘It was just brilliant, you do not do these things to expect something in return,’’ Kennedy said.
‘‘It was just nice to get the recognition, you can see positive things happening for the kids in this region.’’
Support is generally hard to find, but Kennedy felt those in Seymour were willing to give a helping hand when needed.
‘‘The support network in Seymour from the other parents is fantastic, everyone wants to give a helping hand a like I said, it is a great community club,’’ Kennedy said.