2015 ACT & SOUTHERN NSW VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Congratulations to Michael Swinney from the Jindabyne Bushpigs Rugby Union Club and Robert Neil from the Hay Cutters Rugby Union Club who for first time have been both been awarded the ACT & Southern NSW Rugby Union Volunteer of the Year Award at the 2015 Macdougall Medal and Presentation Night. Both Michael and Robert have done mountains of work for their respective clubs and the two could not be separated for the award.
Michael Swinney - Jindabyne Bushpigs RUFC
Mick or better known as ‘Mags’ Swinney has been involved with the Jindabyne Bushpigs for 30 years.
Mick has been and continues to be a major influence on promoting rugby in a community that is very much a snow sports focused town. He taught Tayla Stanford, Youth Olympic Gold Medallist, the game and moved mountains to assist her to compete at a world level.
Michael is constantly organising the club from the juniors, right through to the Veterans.
Mick has steered the Bushpigs to success with the side taking home 12 Grand Finals wins throughout the clubs 30 year history.
Mick is known to recruit women from the local area and encourage them to take on Rugby, with the Miss Piggies playing in the ACT competition as well as taking them on numerous bus trips to play in other competitions.
Mick has promoted Rugby at a Grassroots level to its maximum capacity, with 7 teams in Jindabyne, a town that only has the population of 3000 people.
Mick has stepped into roles when no one else would and his involvement in the club ranges from his being one of the original Jindabyne players which includes playing 100 games to being a manager, referee, sectary, groundsman, canteen and bar to name a few.
Whenever a team travels to Jindabyne to play, Mick is the man to make them all fill very welcome and His contributions to the club are phenomenal and the club simply wouldn't run without him.
Robert Neil - Hay Cutters RUFC
As previously stated Robert has been with the Hay Cutters since their inception in 1991. He is the back bone of the Hay Cutters and For 25 years Rob has rarely missed a Thursday training or a Saturday game.
Robert is a renowned great club man and a volunteer for the Hay Community.
Robert does the strapping, line marking, away trip bus driving, change room cleaning, first aid and more importantly even lets the players enjoy a few beers after the game.
Roberts efforts have earnt him the respect of everyone involved with Cutters and indeed the whole of the SIRU competition
Robert has never been paid for the work he does, and has been awarded life membership of the club many years ago he receives.
Robert has also been awarded with Hay Shire Council Sports Achiever - Australia Day Award and has won the Hay Cutters Rugby Union Club "Clubman of the Year on 15 occasions. He has donated trophies to the Club for its Players Player of the Year Award.
Robert’s passion for not only Hay Cutters Rugby Union - but also for the community of Hay is well known. The Hay Cutters are celebrating their 25 year anniversary this year and it is unlikely the club would have lasted this long if not for the volunteer efforts of Rob Neill.
2015 ACT & Southern NSW Volunteer of the Year Nominees
L-R Kirra Burke (Jindabyne), Mick Swinney (Jindabyne) Christine Thomson (Gungahlin) Robert Neil (Hay) & Rhianna Burke (Jindabyne)