PORT Augusta Tennis Association’s very own Carmel Daw was one of six finalists for the Volunteer Achievement – Rural Award at the 2016/17 Tennis SA Awards on Friday May 5 at the Adelaide Convention Centre.
Just over a year after receiving life membership from the Port Augusta Tennis Association, Carmel was recognised for her contributions as the President of Port Augusta Junior Tennis for the past 12 years.
The award was won by Normanville Tennis Club’s Sonya Jensen, but Carmel said it was an enjoyable evening.
“It was very unexpected. To get nominated was one thing, but then to get in the final was really nice,” Carmel said.
“I think there are lots of people who do just as much as I do and even more, so I’m not really sure about being singled out, but it was appreciated, it was really nice and it was a really enjoyable night.”
Carmel began playing tennis in her hometown Appila, representing her Association at the State Country Carnival, before continuing her playing career through the late 1980’s until 2004 in Port Augusta.
After three years on the Junior Tennis Committee, Carmel was awarded with the top job in 2005, where she has played a major role in increasing Port Augusta’s representation in State Country Carnivals.
Carmel said the role of Junior Tennis President is a fun job that needs to be done.
“If you don’t have volunteers, you really can’t have a lot of the things that we do have,” she said,
“A lot of the sporting and community activities, particularly in country areas, rely heavily on volunteers.
“It gives you the opportunity to get involved and meet people. I think it’s really important to do that and show to younger people that it’s a good thing to get involved.”
She has also helped implement the Hot Shots coaching program, sourced grant funding to purchase a ball machine and overseen a record number of members for junior tennis.
Carmel was grateful for the support from her volunteering inspiration and former Association Secretary Terry Riordan, Junior Coach Coordinator Bruno Carcuro and the current and former Association Presidents Michael Rowbottom and Gary Kolic.