The Great Southern region has kicked off National Volunteer Week by celebrating two of its finest volunteers for their outstanding commitment to the sporting community.
Albany Sharks Football and Sporting Club President Tracy Blaszkow was awarded the prestigious Mike Stidwell Medal, while local Denmark volunteer Belinda Ross won the Great Southern Service to Sport Award.
Tracy has been involved with the Albany Sharks since 2015 as secretary, treasurer and now club president, and is incredibly well-respected by her industry peers.
She is a strong advocate for pioneering change within her club and championing members’ wellbeing. During her short reign as president, she has transformed the relatively new club, helping establish a positive and inclusive culture for all.
Tracy is the 23rd recipient of the Mike Stidwell Medal, which honours the memory of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries’ former Regional Manager, and his selfless and long-term contribution to sport and recreation in the region.
Belinda is only the second recipient to receive the Department’s Great Southern Service to Sport Award, which recognises the significant and invaluable contribution by a volunteer to a local sport or recreation club or organisation.
Belinda’s passion for sport and recreation in her local community is evident in her tireless work across multiple sports in Denmark.
She founded the local athletics and running clubs, and volunteers with the junior football, junior basketball and cricket clubs.
National Volunteer Week runs from Monday May 16 to Sunday May 22, 2022, under the theme ‘Better Together’.
As stated by Sport and Recreation Minister David Templeman:
“Volunteers are the backbone of the sporting community and deserve to be celebrated every day, not just during National Volunteer Week.
“Without volunteers like Tracy and Belinda in the community, local sport and recreation clubs simply wouldn’t be able to operate or achieve at the levels they do.
“Tracy and Belinda are both leaders in their field and I congratulate them on their well-deserved wins.”
As stated by Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens:
“Albany is a proud sporting city and I congratulate Tracy Blaszkow on winning this award.
“Tracy has dedicated years of service to the Albany Sharks Football and Sporting Club across many roles and her hard work has had an incredible impact.
“Volunteers such as Tracy play such a key role in the smooth running of all our Albany sporting and community clubs, and I applaud Tracy for working so hard to give her time to a club which is inclusive and thriving under her leadership.”