Last Friday AFL Queensland recognised the contribution of AFL game development ambassadors and volunteers across Queensland and NSW Northern Rivers at the 2019 AFL Queensland Game Development Thank You Function.
Darling Downs locals, Sam Dunmill and Kelly Barron, were recognised for their significant contribution to the growth and quality of AFL programs delivered in the region.
Sam Dunmill from Goondiwindi Hawks was awarded Junior Match Program Coach of the Year for his outstanding contribution to AFL Queensland's Junior Match Program, Roy's Footy.
AFL Queensland Regional Manager - Darling Downs, Jeff Neumann, said Sam had made a significant contribution to footy in the Darling Downs in only his second season.
"The Goondiwindi Hawks localised junior match program has become the benchmark for the Darling Downs region," Mr Neumann said.
"Sam has driven the delivery and coordination of the program in Goondiwindi and leads the way with most participants in the region.
"The continued growth and quality of the localised match program will see the Goondiwindi Hawks in a positive position to grow participation in Junior Football in future," Mr Neumann added.
"He has done an excellent job coordinating and coaching the next generation of stars from the Darling Downs, making him a worthy recipient of this year's Junior Match Program Coach of the Year honour."
AFL Queensland State Manager- Game Development & Diversity, Mark Ensor, praised Kelly Barron for her passionate support in promoting diversity.
"Kelly has played a pivotal role in driving our partnership between AFL Queensland and TAFE Queensland," Mr Ensor said.
"She developed an eight week program that introduced over 90 males and females aged between 15 and 25 to AFL, covering topics such as basic skills, umpiring and match play.
"From there the 30 participants attended a Brisbane Lions match at the Gabba, introducing them to the excitement of live AFL footy.
"As a result, 90 new participants have been introduced to our game with a large majority going on to take up playing or umpiring."
While Sam is celebrating this week, he hopes to have a double-celebration in a few week's time.
The Goondiwindi Hawks are on top of the ladder with one game to go.
They play Highfields at Riddles Oval in Goondiwindi on Saturday and he's urged as many Hawks' fans as possible to come along. (Late news. Highfields have forfeited)
The Hawks had a convincing win over South Toowoomba in cold, blustery conditions on Saturday 14-11-95 to 6-4-40.