Nigel Inwood has never played a game of competitive footy in his life, yet he is one of the most recognised faces around Mustangs Brothers Rugby League Football Club in Chambers Flat.
This month, the Mustangs are honouring him with a life membership for everything he has done as a club volunteer over the last 20 years.
Mr Inwood says the honour was entirely unexpected, adding that he volunteers for the love of the club.
“To have this happen to me has made me realise that there are people out there who do see what you do,” says Mr Inwood.
“When you go there, it’s not a big club, it’s like a country thing, you haven’t got a bar with pokies, no big club house, everything’s done by volunteers.”
“I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Mr Inwood’s whole family is heavily involved in the club. His four children went through the playing ranks from juniors to adults and three of them now help out with coaching and refereeing, while his wife also received a life membership three years ago.
Mustangs president Geoff Burr says Mr Inwood is selfless.
“He’s a real goer and top bloke, I can’t speak highly enough of him, he should have been a life member years ago,” says Mr Burr.
“Nothing’s too hard for Nigel, he’s always willing to help out in the community, he’s been a big contributor to the football club.
“He’s always the first one to put his hand up.”
Mr Inwood says he is most excited about seeing the club’s growth in the upcoming season as their facilities undergo significant upgrades.
“There’s a lot of changes in the future coming – all the changes that are happening now are just the start of what’s coming in the future, and I want to be there to see it all happen.
Breaking ground, making history
The Mustangs will start their 2021 season with huge improvements to club facilities, including the installation of their own independent water source for irrigation.
“It’s the first time in the club’s history of nearly 32 years that we’ve actually got water of our own from the river instead of relying on the farmer’s paddock next door in their dam which goes dry every now and again,” says Mr Burr.
Mr Burr says that operation involved construction of a pipeline to divert water from the river over one kilometre, which is needed to accelerate new field upgrades requiring 50,000 litres of water per day.
“The turf will be going down the first week of January and then the [new] lights go up first week of March,” he says.
Mr Burr says those upgrades are courtesy of two government grants worth $150,000.