Volunteer of Year twice in one month

Published 4:30pm 9 December 2020

Volunteer of Year twice in one month
Words by Nick Crockford

Paul Walker has been named 2020 Volunteer of the Year twice in the same month!

Narangba Rangers Junior Rugby League Club gave him their award for his tireless work throughout this COVID-hit year.

And such were his efforts supporting the club that Rugby League Brisbane also gave him its Volunteer of the Year award.

Volunteer of Year twice in one month

Surprise award

Paul thought nothing of spending six days a week, 4.30-8pm, ensuring all equipment was COVID-safe and sanitised before and after training and on matchdays.

That was on top of his committee duties, overseeing LeagueSafe, working in the canteen and even cleaning the toilets at Rangers’ Williamina Rd ground.

Paul did not know he had been nominated for the award but said: “I just do my bit to help the players on the paddock.

“I enjoy it. The club isn’t that old and I enjoy being part of a group helping to build, what I think, is a great footy club.

“We’re just caretakers and we love what we do, but someone will come along after me and add their bit.”

Bear to Ranger

Paul played at Pine Rivers Bears as a junior and grew up in Petrie. He has been involved with Narangba Rangers for 10 years.

In 2011 he enrolled son Brock in the Under 7 Green team and became assistant coach. Brock will be in the Under 17s.

He took over as coach for 2013-14 and since 2015 he has run the club’s LeagueSafe program.

Redcliffe Dolphins then asked Paul to join Rangers’ committee in 2017. He accepted.

Last to leave

Paul is often first to arrive and last to leave on matchdays, manages club equipment and cooks in the canteen. When he wanted to try pulled beef burgers, he prepared the beef the night before.

He was at the heart of Rangers’ hosting an under 7 carnival last season for 10 clubs, more than 20 teams and 1200 visitors.

“Seeing all the smiles on the kids’ faces, and the fun they were having really energises you,” he said.

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