Women continue to be a force for grassroots sport – as coaches, administrators, volunteers and of course participants.
With nominations rolling in for the 2019 Sportscover Clubbies Awards, we decided to take a look back at five weekend warriors who featured in recent years.
Finalists, honourable mentions and winners – the women of our Clubbies alumni have some fabulous stories to tell.
2017 Best Masters Performance – Winner
When 75-year-old Esther Brooks took out Best Masters performance in 2017 she became an instant media hit.
Atherton Tablelands and District Dressage Association president, Margot Warnett, said the attention was well deserved, hailing the elite dressage rider for her “horsemanship, calmness, compassion” and dedication to mentoring others.
After her early pony club days, Brooks spent much of her adulthood riding the scrub and bushland around her property before taking up dressage some thirty years ago.
She adds: “People have contacted me who found out that I had only started dressage in my forties.
“They’ve been encouraged and a couple have even gone out and bought horses. It’s been a bit inspiring I think to some who thought they were too old.”
Taking the ensuing publicity in his considerable stride was the chestnut Hanoverian whose own remarkable story, Brooks says, began as “imported frozen semen” from Germany. Not surprisingly, then, that the Germans also rallied behind Brooks’ nomination helping her to a memorable win.
2018 Best Administrator – Honourable Mention
Kirsten Royley has given well over a decade of her life to Queensland outfit Albany Creek Excelsior FC and club president Anthony Dooley had no difficulty coming up with this fitting tribute.
Dooley said after a long period as volunteer, Royley quit a better paying job to devote herself full time to the club.
“She does everything from cooking treats for working bees to marketing the off season 5-a-side competition which would be the largest in Australia (1700 players), to liaising with the governing bodies of football in Queensland to ensure that the club is compliant with all necessary requirements.
"Kirsty spends over 60 hours per week at the office and is available off site at all times and is now putting herself through a course in MYOB to make the job of the treasurer less of a burden. She looks for no praise but testament to her knowledge of the game and her organisational skills is the fact that Football Qld invited her to a forum on the structure of the rule changes for season 2018.”