Shock and surprise for Dickinson
SHOCKED and surprised were two of the words Steven Dickinson used when he was asked what it felt like to be one of the finalists for the NRL's National Volunteer Of The Year Award.
The journey for Dickinson from a willing volunteer at the Waves Tigers Junior Rugby League Club to a national finalist, picked from thousands of submissions, started in 2005 and although there has been plenty of hard work along the way he has enjoyed every step.
Dickinson started as a dad who wanted to help out, and after the first AGM was one of two vice presidents.
From that day Dickinson said hasn't looked back and knew he would be a Waves Tiger's man for life.
"I developed a love of the game and the club - it just became a passion," Dickinson said.
"Since I started I made a lot of good friends and met a lot of good people."
Dickinson has served the Tigers as a committee member, club president and registrar; he also helped lead the Waves Tigers in developing one of the best rugby league facilities in the district.
There has been one-field success, in 2009 Waves Tigers had teams in the Under-13, U14, U15 and U16 grand finals, but it had been something off it that gave Dickinson the biggest thrill.
"Personally for me the highlight is when I had kids who were nine or 10 years old when they started come up to me in the street now as young adults," he said.
"When they shook my hand and just say g'day. That was really good."
The award Dickinson is a finalist for recognises rugby league's unsung heroes for their tireless work.
From volunteer coaches and teaches, to players at first-grade level, the NRL Community and Player Education Awards pause to honour, reflect and congratulate those who make a difference.
The award night will be held in Sydney on October 2 and if Dickinson's words are heard by the judges he might be a fair chance to win.
"All I wanted was for kids to get the best experience out of rugby league," he said.