2017 NIFNC Junior Presentation Night Saturday evening was a celebration of and farewell to the Junior Eagles’ 2017 season and it was one of best attended Presentation Nights in recent years.
Players and their families packed the Narrandera Race Club to recognise and applaud the efforts of junior footballers and netballers.
Senior President Mark Savage was joined by club stalwarts Peter Royle, Wayne Mathieson and Gary Powell, who presented the prestigious club awards.
The speeches and presentations brought forth a variety of emotions, including passion, pride, humility, sentimentality, appreciation and even a little stage fright.
Wayne Mathieson reminded the gathering of Henry Mathieson’s maxim, “it’s not about winning, it’s about playing the game” before presenting the Henry Mathieson Memorial for Most Improved Junior to Ben Pearson.
Ben has had a tremendous season and is tipped to be a senior player of note in the future.
Junior Eagle Footballer of the Year was awarded to another champion young man who heads to senior football next year. Luke Argus epitomised the values of this
award by being a wonderful club person, helping out with whatever was needed whenever asked and often without needing to be asked.
Junior Eagle Netballer of the Year went to a very worthy recipient Lucy Litchfield. As a member of the Under 15s Lucy also regularly umpired junior matches, was a SWJFNL rep player, helped out training and trained Net-Set-Go beginners.
Deserved winner of the Mick Dillon Memorial Clubperson of the Year was Peter Bloomfield. As coach of the 2017 under 15s, this was Peter’s fifth year coaching juniors. His behind the scenes work at the Club is appreciated by all members.
With three netball and two football teams playing finals this year, the Club finished as runner-up in the club championships and then won the Under 13s netball premiership.
More importantly than success on the scoreboard, the junior players have been gaining skills and experiences that will benefit them in the future, such as being part of a team, supporting their teammates, taking direction, learning self-discipline, developing self-confidence, building friendships and keeping active.
As well as acknowledging outstanding performances, the night also provided an opportunity to salute the volunteers who made the season possible including coaches, managers, umpires, runners and other support crew.
A special mention was made of President Jason Williams; Secretary Megan Bloomfield and Netball Coordinator Suz Litchfield, whose efforts ensured the season ran smoothly.
Unofficially, the Junior Eagles’ canteen is regarded as the benchmark of the SWJFNL with its delicious and extensive range surpassing all others in the League and those volunteers were soundly congratulated.
President Jason also thanked the large number of local sponsors who donate time, funds and services to the Club.