AFL Wide Bay's Mason up for state volunteer award
AUSSIE RULES: Enormous work to build sponsorship and expand the AFL's footprint in the Wide Bay are just two reasons why Mark Mason could be named the Queensland Sport Volunteer of the Year.
Mason is a former AFL Wide Bay president who put in years of work to revive clubs, growing the competition and led the introduction of the region's first women's competition. Last month, he was named AFL Queensland's Volunteer of the Year and was part of the AFL Grand Final parade.
His volunteer work is not confined to AFL Wide Bay, for whom he has helped increased sponsorship by as much as 500 per cent. Mason could not attend the original presentation night, the Grogan Medal, due to a long-planned hay run to drought-affected Jericho, Outback Queensland.
"I'm not 100 per cent sure what who nominated me. Nobody did a big spiel or anything but they presented our awards after the players' appearance at the parade,” Mason said.
"We increased sponsorship this year by 500 per cent, we've launched the women's comp and we're recruiting players to the game. We struggled for a board for a few years but we've managed to get that in place and have a really strong board there now.”
He worked to help re-establish Maryborough Bears in the competition, and is a driving force for the South Queensland representative team.
AFLQ CEO Dean Warren said Mason was a deserving and popular winner of the state volunteer of the year award.
"He's done an amazing job in Bundaberg and Wide Bay for a number of years. He's actively involved in getting the women's competition running and was a real driver at Maryborough,” Warren said.
"He's taken a step back from the president's role but he still has a massive impact.
"He was a very popular winner (of the AFLQ award) and is an enormous supporter of our SQ team. He drove from Bundy to Brisbane every week just to be at training. It's due recognition for his work and commitment to the game.”
The 24th Queensland Sport Award winners will be announced on November 28.