Volunteer Hero of the week – Bernadette Brislane

In this weekly off-season feature we profile a club recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award to highlight the incredible work our volunteers do so that others can enjoy their footy.

This week’s Volunteer Hero is Bernadette Brislane from the Manning Valley Mustangs where she is the club Secretary and Auskick Co-ordinator.

What do you love about volunteering?

I love seeing kids out playing team sports and building on skills, teamwork and friendships. The smiles on their faces at the end of a match, win, loss or draw is priceless. Volunteers are the backbone of all clubs and by volunteering myself , I am playing a small part in ensuring that these opportunities are available for the kids.

What’s your favourite volunteering moment? 

Every week of AFL is my favourite moment. When it comes together for the kids as a team and you see them trying hard, getting their first goal and displaying that sportsmanship, it makes your day. We also were privileged to be a part of a beautiful smoking ceremony during Indigenous Round against Macleay Valley this season. To see the teams come together to celebrate culture was a lovely moment to be part of.

What skills has volunteering helped you to develop?

Being a part of a fairly young club means that constant growth is happening each season. Gaining knowledge about the inner workings of running a club, understanding that it takes a team to build positive culture and the importance of building relationships with families within the club are all areas I feel that I’ve gained skills in.

How does your club support new volunteers?

We like to make sure all volunteers are supported. We would love any offer of help and there is always time available to help new volunteers learn the ropes and gain confidence.

What would you say to someone who’s thinking about volunteering?

We don’t function without volunteers so you’re always welcome. It’s rewarding to be involved in a footy club and the skills gained through volunteering transfer to all other walks of life.

In what areas will your club be looking for help in 2020?

Help on game day is always appreciated. We have lots of things happening on game day and any pocket of time that volunteers can offer is awesome. The more volunteers we have, the more we can share the load around, as well as being able to enjoy the most important reason we are there, to watch our kids out on the oval.

What do you love most about your footy club?

We have a small hard working committee, and we all have the aim to be able to have kids out playing footy each week. To see the personal growth in all the kids over the season and to come away with smiles on their faces is a huge part of why I love being a part of our footy club.

The Manning Valley Mustangs can be contacted at mustangsafc@mail.com if you would like to volunteer or need info on any other aspect of the club.