Southern Districts Junior Football Association secretary and treasurer Mel Benson has become the first female to win the WA Football Commission Great Southern Volunteer of the Year Award.
The award, in its fourth year, attracted a record 61 nominations from within the Great Southern region in both junior and senior football ranks.
Benson was recognised for her ongoing work with the SDJFA spanning five years and will attend the 2012 Sandover Medal presentation, where each of the 17 regional and district winners will be acknowledged for their efforts.
Despite taking on the dual secretary and treasurer role this season, Benson was humbled by the award.
“There are so many people that are deserving of this award,” Benson said.
“But I am chuffed to be recognised as the winner, I couldn’t do it without the team I work with.”
In her five years as SDJFA secretary Benson said the growth of junior football has been terrific.
“We have 970 footballers and even 70 coaches,” she said.
“So it is a huge association.”
“But just seeing the kids out there running around, playing footy, and being active is my reward.”
Great Southern Regional Football Manager Brent Sheridan said Benson was a deserving winner of the award.
“Mel has been an integral part of the SDJFA for a number of years,” Sheridan said.
“She does a mountain of work, she really is the engine room of the SDJFA and has been for a number of years.”
Sheridan also acknowledged every other nominee for the award, thanking them for their support and dedication to country football.
The overall State winner of WA Volunteer of the Year Award will be announced at the Sandover Medal night and receive a trip for two to the 2012 AFL Grand Final, including flights, accommodation and tickets to the Grand Final breakfast function.