Volunteers are the lifeblood of any community organisation.

Published Fri 24 May 2024



Volunteers are the lifeblood of any community organisation. It is the volunteer that gives up their personal time to commit to delivering for others. Many do so without seeking fanfare or accolades – they do it because they have a call to service, a willingness to give rather than take.

Being National Volunteer Week, Football Canterbury wishes to highlight the recipients of the Association’s highest volunteer award – the Vince & Val Laws Medal. Named for a couple that volunteered at Club and Association level for over half a century.

In 2013, the Medal was created to recognise an individual that has given significant life service as a volunteer within Football Canterbury. The Medal was in addition to the Cec Barlow Awards presented annually to a club member for their volunteer service to the club.

These extraordinary volunteers that have received the Association’s Vince & Val Laws medal are:

Mrs Grace Martin – a founder of Roselands FC; a Life Member of Roselands and the Association; Secretary / Competition Secretary / Registrar / Judiciary Chair of the Association

Mr Ron Royston OAM – a Life Member of Marrickville FC and the Association; long time President of Marrickville

Mr Carlo Ianni – a Life Member of Inter Lions FC; long time President of Inter Lions

Mr (Robert) Kevin Sutton* - a Life Member of Marrickville FC and Canterbury Referees; long time Referee

Mr Albert Stein* - a Life Member of Hurlstone Park Wanderers FC and the Association; President / Treasurer of the Association

Mr Tony Antoniadis Sr – a Life Member of Earlwood Wanderers FC; long time committee member of Earlwood

Mr Anthony D’Agruma – a Life Member of Strathfield FC; Finance Director of the Association

Mr Ian Holmes – a Life member of the Association and Football NSW; President / Secretary / Director of the Association

Mr Andrew McVeigh – a Life Member of Burwood FC

Mr Armando Gardiman AM – a Life Member of the Association; Chairman / Director / Tribunal Chair of the Association

Mrs Vicki Belton-Crowe – a Life Member of Earlwood Wanderers FC; Judiciary Chair / Tribunal Member of the Association

Within the Association each weekend during the community football season, more than 3,500 individuals volunteer. This includes club & association committee members; team officials (coaches & managers); referees; game leaders; and ground officials.

Without these people, community football does not exist.

When you next take to the field as a player or attend as a spectator or parent of a player, respect the volunteers (and yes that includes referees / game leaders), provide them support, and if they make a reasonable request of you – please kindly oblige. They have put their hand up to provide the support network for the players to play. They have not taken the easy road – they have stepped up to serve the community.