Celebrating Community Sport



The Wests Sports Council provides various opportunities throughout the year to celebrate our local sports community including an annual award process for local athletes and sporting groups and a Sports Volunteer of the Year Awards program. These opportunities are to recognise achievement, commitment and contribution to sport. Sports Award nominations are open to members of Sporting Clubs and Individual Clubs of Associations which have been approved by the Wests Campbelltown Board for membership of the Wests Sports Council. 

Heroes of Community sport celebrated with the Wests Sports Volunteer of the Year awards 2023

Posted at 23 May 2023

Wests Group Macarthur was thrilled to present the 2023 Wests Sports Volunteer of the Year Awards on Saturday 20th May, honouring the contribution of volunteers amongst Wests Sports Council Members and a broad network of sporting clubs and associations to the Macarthur sporting community.


As a long-time supporter and sponsor of sport in the region, Wests Group hosts the awards program to acknowledge and celebrate the enormous contribution of time and effort that sporting volunteers give their codes within Macarthur – with the overall volunteer sector in Australia said to represent around $4 billion dollars of labour input nationally. The event, held at Wests League Club, is timed during National Volunteer Week – Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering, and is a completely free of charge celebration on behalf of our sporting community.


The program accepts both long service submissions as well as an overall Youth (under 21yrs) and Adult (21+yrs) of the Year nominations and was open to 30 member clubs and associations of the Wests Sports Council, who deliver local sport to Macarthur via a network representing upwards of 35,000 athletes, administrators, and volunteers.


Alan Buxton, Chairman of Wests Group Macarthur comments “Wests wants to acknowledge the incredible volunteers who are vital to the successful running of a community sports club. We know sporting organisations would not be able to run without these selfless and passionate people who give their time willingly to fill critical roles on and off the field each week”.


Daniel Perkiss, Chief Executive Officer at Wests Group Macarthur adds “These are the unsung heroes of sport and Wests wanted to provide the platform for them to unwind, celebrate, and be recognised for their efforts”.


Throughout the nomination period from February to April 2023 over 100 nominations were received from various codes including swimming, hockey, rugby league, AFL, Cricket, BMX, and more.


2023 also saw the addition of new categories with Wests adding 10-, 35- and 40-years’ service in addition to the 15, 20, 25, 30 years categories recognised in year one of the awards. Each service nominee is recognised with a service pin, certificate, and gift from Wests with the total list of recipients cumulatively representing around 135 decades of service to sport in the region.


Wests extended the invitation for the completely complimentary celebration to up to ten representatives of each of the Wests Sports Council members made up of presidents, committee members, and volunteer nominations in an evening hosted by sports broadcaster and proud Camden local Jimmy Smith. Guests were treated to beverages and a premium menu prepared by Wests Chefs of antipasto, seafood platters, and a main course of Chicken or Beef Tenderloin, as well as dessert, and treated to a Q&A with former NRL player Greg Inglis, plus entertainment by the world-famous hypnotist Peter Powers.


WINNER Youth Volunteer of the Year – Cody Sainsbury. Macarthur Football Association


Cody has been a member of the Macarthur Football Association Representative Teams since 2018, after his younger brother was selected in the club’s Skill Acquisition Program. Cody is one of the youngest coaches to complete the C License coaching Certificate and has held roles as an assistant coach of the Under 11s, under 12s and under 13 teams.


As well as coaching, Cody helps support the club with the coordination and delivery of club functions, and manages the match day VEO video system, not to mention his support of his mother with convenor duties.  He does all of this and continues to volunteer his time despite his brother no longer playing at the club.


On accepting the award, Cody acknowledged how rewarding being a volunteer can be and the impact that it can have on players commenting “I just wanted to help out…and the best part of being a leader and volunteer is having the kids you are helping do what you ask them to do”.



Pictured: Cody Sainsbury of Macarthur Football Association part of Softball NSW accepts his prize with Wests Group Macarthur Chairman Alan Buxton and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Perkiss.


Winner Adult Volunteer of the Year –Fred Furner Macarthur BMX Club


Fred first became a member of Macarthur BMX in 2010 when his son took up the sport of BMX racing and took on a more official volunteering role in 2014, when he joined the board, later becoming board President in 2017, a role he still holds today. Fred can be found at the BMX track every single afternoon, spending countless hours to keep the operation of the club going. Fred is often found setting up the track for coaching or race days, cooking up a storm on the BBQ, checking bikers of younger riders (who sometimes need a bit of extra help) and generally being an all-round top bloke. In fact, Macarthur BMX and Fred Furner are synonymous in the Macarthur sporting community. Fred also volunteers his time travelling the country at both state and national BMX events as a track official, and support Macarthur riders to perform their best. Fred’s commitment to the sport inspires others to volunteer with Macarthur BMX, and his unwavering support for the sport shines through in everything he does for the club.


Of the win, Mr. Furner shares “What a great honour to be recognised as the 2023 Wests Sports Adult Volunteer of the Year. I am honoured to have been nominated amongst a large group of worthy recipients. Thank you to past and present committee members for making my job easy, a great bunch of people who also go above and beyond for Macarthur BMX Club and the sport. A huge thank you to Wests Group Macarthur, the recognition is greatly appreciated, and we appreciate the awesome evening you put on for us all”.



Pictured: Fred Furner celebrates his Adult Volunteer of the Year Awards night with his family and the team from Macarthur BMX


In addition to the Wests Sports Volunteer of the Year Awards, Wests Group Macarthur also provides a seasonal awards program as well as a substantial amount of funding each year towards the ongoing success of each member club of the Wests Sports Council.


The Wests Sports Council is an integral part of Wests Group Macarthur’s commitment to sport in the region and aims to create simple pathways for community access to affordable and well-administered sporting opportunities within a local network of sporting clubs and associations.


For more on the Wests Sports Council and Wests Group commitment to being the Home of Sport visit




Katie Petkovski

Group Marketing and Communications Manager

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