Thanks to Pirtek, each month we look to celebrate a volunteer who has contributed immensely to Rugby League and their community. The COVID-19 pandemic put a temporary pause on this for 2020, however, we are back and kickstarting this great initiative again with our July Volunteer of the Month, Simon Watson.
For the past three years, the Glenfield Greyhounds have been bumped off their home ground, Sunnynook No.1, as the park underwent significant field renovations. As a result, retaining team numbers and club registrations became a real challenge. While this may have overwhelmed and wiped out some clubs, Simon Watson, Glenfield Greyhounds Club Chairman, has been steadfast in his commitment and advocacy for the future of the Greyhounds.
He has established community partnerships with nearby organisations, connected with schools and relentlessly questioned the District on the strategic growth imperatives for the North Shore. This extensive community engagement has been coupled with the physical tasks of game day as Simon ensures they are carried out seamlessly and safely for his members and visitors to the club, while also wearing whatever hat is needed at any stage of the week. While Club Chairman may be his official title, he is also the tech guy, the barman, the club hire contact and field logistics coordinator.
This month, the Greyhounds celebrated the reopening of Sunnynook Park with an open community club day on Saturday 26 July. Simon coordinated an inclusive, entertaining event for all ages and marked the occasion with some morning formalities that included staff and Board members from Devonport-Takapuna Local Board and Auckland Rugby League. While the DJ entertained in the background and everyone enjoyed watching games back on Sunnynook No.1, Simon could be seen setting up flags, greeting sponsors and even stopping to thank the local rubbish removers for the contribution they were making to the day.
Ever humble and extremely hearty, Simon is invaluable to the game and truly epitomises ‘The Kiwi Way’.
Chris Bourke, General Manager at Pirtek says, “As with all of our Rugby League volunteers Simon exemplifies the embedded hunger they have for the success of the game of Rugby League at a local level, and the sacrifices they make in their personal lives to ensure the teams are well looked after.
“With the significant disruptions we have had this year and coupled with the significant changes to the Greyhounds home ground, many people may have given up their support. Simon has gone above and beyond normal volunteering and with his community engagement to ensure the continuity of the game in this key location.
“Congratulations on the re-opening of Sunnynook Park and congratulations to Simon Watson for being an integral part of this process. Simon is a well deserving winner of the Pirtek Volunteer of the Month for July 2020.”
Volunteers will be chosen based off how well they demonstrate our Kiwi Way values:
We are family first – stronger together.
Innovative and Courageous – punch above our weight.
We are responsible.
We are inclusive, respectful and humble.
Each winner receives $200 worth of vouchers.
Nominations are now open for Pirtek’s August Volunteer of the Month.