TIME TO REFLECT: The 2015/16 City of Ipswich Sports Awards Volunteer of the Year winner Heather Scott relaxes at home.
TIME TO REFLECT: The 2015/16 City of Ipswich Sports Awards Volunteer of the Year winner Heather Scott relaxes at home. Rob Williams

Vital volunteers like Heather keep clubs going

BACON and egg "expert'' Heather Scott typifies what makes a valuable sporting volunteer.

She's versatile, professional, fair-minded and willing to help out.

Given those qualities and what she's achieved over the past 20 years, Heather thoroughly deserved being named volunteer of the year at the recent City of Ipswich Sports awards.

While the former representative hockey player and coach is enjoying her retirement, she continues to help out.

"It's kept me involved,'' the One Mile resident said.

"I didn't think I could walk away from hockey.

"By doing all this, I enjoy a visit to hockey and enjoy working with all the wonderful people out there.''

She also gets a buzz watching the players she's coached work through the grades.

Heather has performed a diverse range of roles at Ipswich Hockey including being record and assistant records secretary, serving on the technical committee and judiciary, time as a treasurer and various club and representative team coaching.

Association president Margret Mantell even rated Heather "one of our bbq-ers extraordinaire''.

The grandmother laughs when told about that, saying the bacon and egg burgers she and her canteen helpers make are always popular.

Heather praised other hockey regulars like her husband Phil, and John and Lyn Brown for their efforts overseeing a valuable food service on game days.

Her main role this year was assistant records secretary.

Before retiring, Heather was a shop assistant, working for 26 and a half years in the Ipswich Mall newsagency. She's also done office work around the city.

Those skills have been handy assisting Ipswich Hockey in many areas.

While volunteering gives her overwhelming satisfaction, it's not without its challenges.

"On the tech committee, it's very strenuous sometimes trying to satisfy players,'' the Ipswich born and bred contributor said.

"Doing the draw is very, very hard. Players don't realise how hard it is to try and fit it in, especially with this combined Toowoomba comp.''

The advent of the annual Ipswich-Toowoomba series throws up scheduling issues that have to be negotiated between the two centres.

However, Heather said testing moments were far outweighed by the rewards volunteering gives.

"I enjoy every bit of it,'' the Ipswich Hockey and Collegians club life member said. "I hope I can be there for a few more years yet.''

For associations like Ipswich Hockey, such a positive attitude is music to the ears of those also on the committee.

Reliable people are hard to find.

Heather started her volunteer official role looking after records for the then Ipswich Ladies association. She first worked with legendary records secretary Herb Eleison who kept a fantastic collection of Ipswich hockey stats and history.

She offered some terrific advice to other people thinking about volunteering for Ipswich clubs.

"It gives you an interest and something to do,'' she said.

"Get out there and help.

"It doesn't matter what organisation it is, there's lots out there that need help.

"You can only give it a couple of hours. It doesn't have to be all day.''

At the recent City of Ipswich awards night, Heather humbly accepted the award in a quality field of Ipswich volunteers.

"I was very surprised and really shocked,'' she said.

"It's wonderful (that Ipswich has so many dedicated volunteers). I was disappointed I didn't thank them all actually.''

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