Ronda Colliver and Kevin Ackerly’s unselfish work within the community for the past decade was recognised by Nationals Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker last Wednesday.
The South West Rocks couple was in shock after receiving a Federal Member’s Award from Mr Hartsuyker.
“We didn’t expect to receive the award, we don’t do it for the recognition but it does encourage us and make us feel special about the work we have done,” Ackerly said.
The two don’t need much encouraging though as they make the trip to Kempsey nearly everyday throughout the winter months to coach the Macleay Valley Eagles Auskick sides.
They have developed talented Auskick players over the years and recently had three Eagles players invited into the Sydney Swans academy.
Every week they provide meals for their players and are always encouraging children to get involved in the sport.
“It is more than just getting them active,” Colliver said.
“We teach them teamwork, manners, respect and necessary life skills.”
The presentation was hosted by Kempsey Shire Council at the Council Chambers and Mayor Liz Campbell was in attendance alongside Mr Hartsuyker and they passed on their appreciation to the couple for their many years of service to the local community.
“I met them when I visited the Macleay Valley Eagles AFL Club earlier in the year, and was blown away by their dedication to not just the club and its participants, but the greater Kempsey community,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“When you invest the sort of time, energy and resources into your local community that Ronda and Kevin do, you deserve to be recognised and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to heap praise on them because they’re far too selfless to praise themselves.”
It is an exciting time of the year for Colliver and Ackley as the Eagles are into the finals in the U11s, U13s and Youth Girls competition.
They are hoping to have a senior men’s team re-enter the competition and also introduce a women’s side next year.