Local legends recognised

A trio of Gippsland football volunteers were recognised at AFL Victoria’s annual Community Football Awards night last Friday.

Catani Football Netball Club's Ron & Beryl Banbury took home the WorkSafe AFL Victoria Country Volunteer of the Year Award, while Inverloch Auskick Centre Coordinator Steve 'Big K' Stainsby was a finalist in the AFL Victoria Volunteer of the Year Award.

 The husband and wife duo were acknowledged for more than 60 years of service to their club.

Ron's association with the Blues - then known as the Cats - began in the 1960s, winning best and fairest and goal-kicking awards as a player before his career was cut short by a car accident in 1980.

He went on to serve as secretary for roughly 20 years and in various other roles, including reserves coach, selector, recruiting officer, club delegate, time keeper, social club coordinator, cleaner and property steward.

Beryl has been by Ron's side for all that time - and a bit more, having helped coax Ron to the club from Bunyip prior to their marriage in 1961 - and has made a huge contribution to the club, from the netball court to sewing numbers on the back of football jumpers.

Together, the Banbury's have also raised thousands of dollars for the club and have been heavily involved in the redevelopment of the facilities at Taplins Road over the years.

Stainsby has overseen an incredible development of the Inverloch Auskick Centre over several years and is central to its participation growth and success as a program.

More than 300 guests attended the event at Melbourne's Crown Casino, which celebrated the contribution of the state’s best umpires, NAB AFL Auskick volunteers, Australian Football Coaches Association award recipients and the tireless work of more than 80,000 volunteers across the state.


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