AFL recognises work of Coffs Breakers' volunteer Steve Ryan
COFFS Harbour Breakers Auskick coordinator Stephen Ryan has been named NSW/ACT's NAB Auskick Volunteer of 2015.
Steve will join other state winners for a weekend of hospitality, attending an official AFL function at the qualifying final.
He was the driving force in establishing the Auskick centre aligned with the new AFL North Coast club following the merger between North Coffs and Coffs Swans late last year.
In 2014 the two clubs had a combined total of 35 Auskick participants.
On Steve's watch the number has skyrocketed to 60.
Northern NSW Development coordinator Matt Crawley said that tireless effort and drive to retain and recruit participants was complemented by a desire to create an inclusive and accepting club environment.
"Steve has placed a huge emphasis on the fun side of coming down to the club and having a run around and a kick in a really approachable setting," Matt said.
"There are a lot of girls who've come down and played this year at the Breakers Auskick centre, along with indigenous kids and children from different multicultural backgrounds.
"It doesn't matter what level of ability the child had.
"Steve made sure the club sessions were open to everyone, ensuring a lot of laughter."
Known to encourage first-timers to play AFL, Steve himself made his football debut recently, playing an AFL Masters match at Fitzroy Oval where Matt said he "looked right at home.'