One man’s love of Australia’s greatest game has led to a special recognition of his efforts for the local community and the sport he adores.
Ryan Paech, from the Karoonda and Wynarka area, doesn’t understand why he was deemed special enough to be nominated for an award when all he wanted to do was help his town and football team.
“To me it was a no-brainer, we have a small township here and everyone chips in to keep the club going,” he said.
“Karoonda has plenty of young people moving into the town with young families, so this hopefully means more people will be willing to volunteer and help out in the community.”
Mr Paech was awarded the Active Citizenship Award by Karoonda East Murray Council at the local Australia Day celebrations, owing to his extensive hours as a volunteer in helping to create the Mallee Storm, which should ensure both football and netball opportunities will remain in the Mallee.
“We didn’t have the numbers for an under 18 side this season, but the support from everyone else to keep sport going in the Mallee has been excellent,” he said.
The love of football has kept Mr Paech in fighting shape since he was younger and he now happily devotes time to the club as president, helping with anything that is needed, which was why he was nominated for the Australia Day award.
“I didn’t think I did anything too special to get the award,” he said.
“But someone in the community must’ve thought it was a good effort and nominated me for the award.”
An engineer by trade, Mr Paech has been a part of the community for many years, with his family roots lying deep in Karoonda and spanning almost three generations.
“It’s a really great place, with a fantastic school and close-knit community, there isn’t another town like it,” he said.
“It’s a quick trip to Murray Bridge, and with new families moving into the area, I think the future of Karoonda is looking to be bigger and better.”
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