2020 Rovers Cricket Club and Macleay Valley Cricket Association president, Carlos Peters, was today named the 2021 mid north coast volunteer of the year at a special ceremony for the NSW volunteer of the year awards.
The NSW volunteer of the year awards are run by The Centre for Volunteering to recognise the outstanding effort of volunteers working across all sections of communities throughout the state.
The awards are supported by principal partners the NSW Department of Communities and Justice and ClubsNSW, which represents the state's 1,400 not-for-profit clubs.
As well as running a farm, a real estate agency and being a dad to three teenagers, Carlos devotes 20 hours a week to the Rovers Cricket Club, where he has played cricket for 36 of his 44 years and held an executive position for 20 years.
Carlos was president of Macleay Valley Cricket Association and vice-president of the Mid North Coast Cricket Council.
Thinking outside the COVID box, he initiated a Zoom Presentation Night for the Rovers to announce 100 trophy winners after the 2019/20 season.
He also mentors cricket club members aged from 7 to 70 on public speaking.
Carlos said the award came as a shock.
"I was surprised, you do the work because you enjoy doing it and giving back, you don't do it to win awards and to be nominated and be successful was a huge surprise," he said to the Argus.
Fellow Rover Matt Brennan, was delighted when he received the news after nominating Carlos.
"Out of 117,000 nominations he won the adult and overall section - it's pretty special and now he goes into the adult and overall section for NSW volunteer of the year," he explained.
"We had mayor Liz Campbell, Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan on the zoom call and all the mayors of the Mid North Coast."
After finding out Carlos was a winner a week ago, Matt and Carlos' wife Deanna were challenged with the task of keeping it a secret.
"They kept it a secret, I got notification that Matt Brennan had nominated me about two or three months ago and didn't give it another thought," Carlos recounted.
"Then my wife said to me earlier this week that I need to make room in my diary on Thursday at one o'clock because the kids were getting awards.
"I walked into the room at home assuming they're going to be getting an award and they said 'no you've got to sit here' and I thought that's strange why would I be sitting at the front.
"I sat down and looked at the screen and saw the NSW volunteers logo and then it clicked."
In true volunteer fashion, Carlos thanked those who've worked with him.
"It's been a pretty huge year, I'm very thankful for the award, all the people involved and their support," he said.
"A big thank you to my family because you can't put in those hours if you haven't got their support."
The Centre for Volunteering CEO, Gemma Rygate,said volunteers have helped communities get through a few tough years.
"The past 12 months have been tough for all of us, but volunteers have continued to dig deep to support their local communities through this adversity," she stated.
"In many cases they've had to find totally new ways of volunteering through the pandemic, but they've never given up, they've worked around it and shown enormous resilience.
"Today's ceremony is about bringing everyone together to say thank you."
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