Volunteer of the Year announced at AGM
City Memorial Bowls Club Warrnambool member Greg Ritchie has been named the inaugural Bowls Victoria Volunteer of the Year.
Mr Ritchie was announced as the 2015 state award winner at the Bowls Victoria Annual General Meeting, attended by many of his club colleagues.
Mr Ritchie, who won both his club award and then the regional award for West Coast, helps prepare and maintain the club’s greens and spent hours of his own time, money and vehicle investigating a suitable bowling surface for a new club green.
Those at City Memorial estimate he has given more than 1,000 hours of service to his club voluntarily over the past 12 months to make this project a reality.
He also used his own tractor, front-end loader, tools and expertise to help build, meticulously maintain and prepare the new surface.
Bowls Victoria Chief Executive Graeme Bridge gave special thanks to all the volunteers who work so hard to make the sport of bowls tick in this state.
“Without our volunteers, we would have no sport,” he told the AGM.
“We’re anticipating the Volunteer of the Year award will get bigger next year after its launch this year.”
Bowls Victoria President John Fisher and Finance Director Ken Warburton also spoke at the AGM.
Retiring Bowls Victoria board members Rosemary Varty – a former State President – Pam van Huizen and Murray Rowe were recognised for their great service to the sport.
New director Graham Howard and John Inglese, who had previously served in a casual vacancy on the board, will step up on to the Bowls Victoria Board full-time for 2015-16.
Members attending the AGM also had a chance to ask questions of Bowls Victoria staff and directors at a forum.
One of the highlights was Victorian under 18 players Tayla Morison and Tiffany Brodie being interviewed on stage, speaking about their experiences with the sport and aspirations for what lies ahead.
Other regional Volunteer of the Year winners presented with their awards at the AGM were: Dr John Gregson (Peninsula Casey); Peter O’Connor (Bendigo Campaspe); Ian Russell (Central Goulburn Murray); Margaret Wilkins (Central Victoria); Andrew Ross (Eastern Ranges); John Anwyl (Geelong); David Scott (Gippsland); Marie Noelker (Murray Mallee); John East (Northern Gateway); David McDonough (Ovens & Murray); Carole Rafferty (Sandbelt); Ross McKenzie (Strzelecki); Lew Day (Wimmera); Barry Wilkins (Yarra).