The NSW Sports Federation 2013 Community Sports Awards were held on Friday 17 May at Parliament House, with two Netball NSW identities being recognised for their efforts in the sporting community.
Maria Lynch was announced as the 2013 Coach of the Year, beating four other finalists for the title after her successes with multiple teams at both National, State and Association levels.
Lynch said she was “over the moon” with the award, and that it was a nice little recognition of the hours dedicated to the sport.
“I’m really surprised and honoured to have had the opportunity to be up with the other and to come away with the award is fantastic for netball and fantastic for all coaches out there,” Lynch said.
“In a team sport you share things with your team and as a coach you are always looking for your athletes to go further and see accolades … it’s a wonderful recognition for the hours of work you put in, but in saying that it’s all part of being in a team sport and I share this with all the players I’ve worked with and coaches over the years.”
Tamworth netball legend Dorothy ‘Dot’ Lockwood was also recognised on the night with a Distinguished Long Service award for her years of hard work. Dot has served as President of the Tamworth Netball Association for 40 years, however was modest upon receiving the award.
“It’s a great honour to win this award, but I’m quite sure there are a lot of people out in the community who deserve it more than I do,” Lockwood said.
“I started volunteering when I was a very young teacher straight out of college, doing some coaching and umpiring, and then as a natural progression moved into the administration side of netball.”
“I absolutely love the ANZ NetSetGo! program – that is the highlight of the year for me now. You don’t do it for the recognition; for me it’s about the children and giving them a healthy outlook and having some fun along the way,” Lockwood concluded.
The theme of the awards was recognising the superb work volunteers do in the sporting community, particularly at grassroots level, with the event coinciding with National Volunteer Week.
Congratulations to Maria and Dot for their awards, and to all the 2013 nominees and finalists.