Volunteers make an extraordinary contribution to Australian society every day and are the lifeblood of our communities.
The benefits of volunteer work reach far and wide with a ripple effect that begins with the individual organisation and extends to the larger community.
Two such individuals at the Parkes Tennis Club are Brendon Hunt and Phoebe Potts.
They have been recognised for their outstanding contributions by being named as one of only four finalists in the TennisNSW Adult Volunteer Achievement and Junior Volunteer Achievement categories respectively for 2019.
Brendon is the club's treasurer, which is a huge role in itself, but he's also been instrumental in use his technology skills to enable the club to have an online presence.
He is behind the club's website, and manages the online registration platforms for all coaching, membership and competition formats, as well as the Tennis Australia Online Court Booking project, which has taken up plenty of his time throughout 2019.
Brendon is always happy to help, and is not only a huge support to Club President Helen Magill, but also assists Hedley Nicholson in brooming the courts and maintaining the surrounds.
Phoebe, meanwhile, has displayed leadership qualities by mentoring young players coming into the trainee coaching space, encouraging fellow squad members and leading her school team to the NSW CHS semi finals.
Phoebe volunteers regularly at any tennis event she can, ranging from Todd Woodbridge Cup days to Inter school primary days.
A key instance are her efforts at the annual Parkes JDS and Parkes Junior Open, where she worked on the barbeque, acted as a court monitor and attended working bees prior to the events.
At the primary school events, Phoebe is actively involved in setting up for the events, assisting the players on court during their matches and encouraging their efforts.
It is difficult to attract and retain volunteers in sport these days and Phoebe is an example of a young lady who was encouraged to come into Parkes Tennis Club at a young age by parents Dave and Diane Potts to learn how to play the game.
She has grown to love the sport and understands the importance of giving back to her sport through a range of areas.
Phoebe's mentoring of the younger girls has seen them follow her into coaching and learn to appreciate the value of volunteering, and now they also assist at tennis events, which has helped grow our helper numbers.
Phoebe is an outstanding role model to the young girls and boys in our community. She always exudes enthusiasm, has a welcoming smile and shows initiative beyond her years in the tennis club environs.
The Parkes Tennis Club community are immensely proud of both Brendon and Phoebe, and are excited to see them recognised for their efforts.
We wish them the best of luck at the awards and hope they enjoy the experience of the TennisNSW Awards Night, which is being held later this coming Thursday, on October 24.
It is a black tie affair this year being held at Royal Randwick Racecourse, featuring special guest Jelena Dokic as well as a myriad of former and current professionals.