Tony Whiteley, Life Member and Treasurer of Souths Juniors club the South Eastern Seagulls, has been acknowledged by the NSWRL for his outstanding contributions as a volunteer within the game, in a ceremony on Wednesday night.

Held at the Waterview in Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park, the NSWRL Junior League Volunteer of the Year Awards recognise the invaluable contribution of the game’s true backbone, volunteers – in Tony’s case, as being a jack of all trades around South Eastern.

In addition to being a proud Souths Junior himself (having played with the Maroubra Lions), Tony also doubles up as the groundsman, score-keeper, time-keeper and all around go-to man at Pioneer Park come game day and training time.

Souths Juniors President, Keith McCraw, praised Tony for his contribution to the Juniors, the game and the wider South Sydney community.

“He’s a great community guy,” said Keith.

“On game day, he’s there from the crack of dawn until the final whistle blows and he just does an outstanding job that allows so many in our community to play the game.

“Whether it’s him spending time helping out at training, setting up the fields, or his dedication in his official capacity within South Eastern, Tony is a valuable asset to our game.

“He wears a few different hats at the club, and that’s typical of so many volunteers in our district – without people like Tony, Junior Rugby League simply isn’t the same.”

The night also acknowledged a wide range of volunteers across the state’s junior clubs.

“It’s probably one of the most important nights of the year,” NSWRL Chief Executive Officer David Trodden said.

“Just like any other sport, our sport doesn’t exist without volunteers.

“For them it’s about what they can give not what they can take. That’s the essential nature of these volunteers.”

Complete list of winners at the 2015 Junior League Volunteer of the Year Awards night:

NSWRL John Quinn Award – Barry Hanley

NSWRL Gordon Lowrie Award – Brendan Rosebottom

NSWRL Grassroots Club of the Year – Campbelltown City Kangaroos

Les Matthews Referee Volunteer Award – Russell Stevens

Balmain George Thompson Memorial Award – Ron White and Nellie Hage

Canterbury Bankstown DJRL Appreciation Award – Hash Kowaider

Cronulla Sutherland Junior League Volunteer of the Year Award – Simone Foster

Illawarra Col and Billie Purcell Award – Brian Leach

Manly Warringah DJRLFC Volunteer of the Year – Toni Couper

North Sydney DJRLFC Volunteer of the Year – Carmel Paterson

Parramatta DJRLFC Award – David Nicolson

Penrith and Districts Award – Laurie Sloane

St George Robert Stone Memorial Award – Stephen Charlton

South Sydney Juniors Award – Tony Whiteley

Western Suburbs Jim Medway Club Person of the Year – Edward Cummins

Indigenous Volunteer Award – Joanne Bostock

District Rep Volunteer of the Year Award – Geoff Tranter and Jim Toohey

NSWRL.com.au Media Volunteer of the Year Award – Nick Kutnjak