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March 3, 2024

Decades of volunteering earn prestigious NSW Sports Award

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Brenda received her award from Minister for Tourism and Sport, Stuart Ayres.

Brenda Zakaras and John Beasley from Lennox Head were two of 19 sports volunteers from a wide cross-section of sports who received a Distinguished Long Service Award at the 2022 NSW Community Sports Awards held at Commbank Stadium in Parramatta last week

The Awards recognised outstanding achievements and contributions to community sport in NSW, which is largely carried out by a volunteers.

Brenda has been a volunteer at Lennox Head Football Club since its inception in 1978. She was integral in getting the club off the ground and continues to be a pillar of the club today. She has held many positions over the years including Secretary, Treasurer, and team manager.

Her greatest contribution to the club is the running of the canteen, which she has done for over 40 years without any remuneration. The canteen provides significant fundraising to the club and is used to improve facilities at Lennox Head Football Club.

Unsung heroes

John is a member of Lennox Head-Alstonville Surf Life Saving Club and has demonstrated distinguished service to the movement for over six decades and has received a number of Service and Recognition Awards. These include being honoured as a Life Member of Surf Life Saving NSW in 1978, Life Member of Surf Life Saving Australia in 1999, and his 60 Year Long Service Award in 2014.

Beasley has also been honoured with an award only few members have achieved, which is the 60 Year Officiating Award at the 2022 State Championships. John is also Life Member at several locations, including: Central Coast Branch, Far North Coast Branch, Lennox Head SLSC, and The Entrance SLSC.

John was also recognised as the Senior Citizens of the Year for Ballina Shire and continues to volunteer and support Surf Life Saving activities in various roles at this time.

Sport NSW Chairperson, Carolyn Campbell congratulated Zakaras and Beasley on their Awards.

‘Volunteers such as Brenda and John are the backbone of community sport in NSW,’ said Ms Campbell.

‘They are the dedicated, hard-working individuals who contribute countless hours to enable thousands of men and women, girls and boys, to enjoy the health and social benefits of community sport each weekend.

‘They are the unsung heroes on which sports clubs and sports communities are built, and we are delighted to honour their unflagging, dedicated work with this prestigious Award,’ she said.


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