Pat Reely recognised

by jgrey

Club Helensvale’s hard-working volunteer, Pat Reely, was recognised as part of the 31st anniversary of National Volunteer Week in late May for her dedication to the club and its members.

The annual celebration is organised by Volunteering Australia to acknowledge the contribution offered by more than six million Australians who give their time to help communities across the country.

Pat, who has been a club member for more than 10 years, was nominated by Commonwealth Gold medallist and fellow club mate Lynsey Clarke.

Since moving to the Gold Coast from New South Wales in 2004, Pat has been volunteering up to seven days a week at the club, which has become a family de facto for Pat whose real family is based in North Queensland.

Described as the heart and soul of the club, Pat helps out wherever she is needed and can be found doing anything from staffing the bar to serving as the umpires and officials coordinator, and she has even helped Helensvale organise the World Bowls Championships.

“We’re incredibly lucky to have Pat,” Club Helensvale’s Bowls Coordinator Lynsey Clarke says. “She does every job possible around the place, without her support and hard work our

ability to run successful World Class events at the club wouldn’t be possible.

“I’d be lost without her, she really is our super worker!

“I think most clubs will have a ‘Pat’ in their midst – someone who’s at the club six days a week, puts their hand up for every role and isn’t afraid to get in there and do the hard yakka.”

Reely’s volunteering has seen her wear many different hats – even once being asked to look over the fixture draw for a big tournament the club was holding where she identified and rectified an embarrassing mistake when two teams were pitted to play each other twice.

But above all, Reely is just happy to lend a hand.

“I get a lot more out of it than I put in, it’s a team effort too, I’m just humbled to have been nominated,” she said.

“I’m happy to help in any way shape or form but I never consider it as a duty, it’s always my pleasure.”

Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) CEO Peter Conde said the role that volunteers play in delivering sport across the country and in supporting athletes on their sporting journey should never be undervalued.

“The AIS wants to show our support to Australia’s volunteers through National Volunteers Week, in recognition of the

millions of volunteers who make sport possible for so many,” Conde said.

“Working with athletes, we want to share a simple message of ‘thank you’, to the coaches, officials, team managers, groundskeepers, canteen workers, gear stewards and plenty more, that support the enjoyment of sport across Australia.

“Our high-performance athletes all have volunteers who have helped them at many points in their career. National Volunteers week is our chance to say thanks.”