BEST OF MACKAY: This sports volunteer keeps football growing
PASSIONATE football super coach Rhys Cappello does not mind arriving home late.
Monday to Saturday, Cappello is stretched thin between commitments to three separate football teams.
After he clocks off from his day job at Mackay Sugar, Cappello runs his teams around the pitch before embarking on the hour-long trip to his Benholme home.
Cappello started his soccer journey at five with Country United.
It was his exposure to "high quality" coaches that put the 19 year old on the coaching path.
"I was playing with Country for the past 11 years and coaching between that," he said.
Cappello was this month crowned Mackay's best sports volunteer after he topped a Daily Mercury poll with 22 per cent of the total vote count.
Cappello said he was humbled with the reveal but handed the achievement to all sports volunteers in the region.
"It was nice to see that people recognise the things we do," he said.
"I say we as in all the other volunteers in Mackay as well."
The young volunteer took his first coaching role three years ago when his younger sister's team were in desperate need of leadership.
"I decided to do that for a season and really liked it," he said.
"I met some great players and parents (with Country) and have just stuck with it."
Now he spends most of his afternoons between two junior Magpies Crusaders teams and Magpies Division 1 senior women's side.
"It changes so much," he said.
"I just started with a local comp, now I'm going up and down the east coast with Magpies Crusaders.
"It's been so rewarding; meeting all the players and people has been fantastic."
While he dreams of a career in coaching or management, Cappello said self-gain has never motivated his volunteer work.
"There's definitely benefits for me, but firstly it's for the kids," he said.
"You want to impact and inspire the next generation as much as you can.
"As a player I had good, young coaches, so someone else deserves the same and that's why I stood up."