Van der Ploeg wins DWA award

Alpine Observer - - Letters To The Editor -

By STRUAN JONES

MOUNT Beauty lo­cal Daniel van der Ploeg has won spe­cial recog­ni­tion from Dis­abled Win­ter­sports Aus­tralia (DWA) for his work as a vol­un­teer guide, as­sist­ing peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties to ex­pe­ri­ence snow sports.

Van der Ploeg, an al­lied health as­sis­tant at Alpine Health, has been in­volved in DWA for eight years, work­ing on camps and week­end trips, and this year was named the Si­mon Lo Schi­avo Vol­un­teer of the Year by the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The award recog­nises a vol­un­teer who has gone above and be­yond ex­pec­ta­tions, vol­un­teered a large num­ber of days, and stepped up their skills or re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

DWA chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Rick Coate said Daniel “has de­mon- strated all of the traits that we be­lieve em­u­late the spirit of the award,

“Not only did Daniel par­tic­i­pate in an ex­cep­tional num­ber of camps through­out the sea­son pro­vid­ing qual­ity guid­ing, he of­ten put his hand up at the last minute to work on camps and al­ways helps or­gan­ise equip­ment,” Mr Coate said.

Spe­cial men­tion was made of Daniel’s ob­ses­sive and evan­gel­i­cal at­ti­tude to cof­fee, buy­ing par­tic­i­pants cof­fees in the morn­ing and donuts in the evenings at Falls Creek.

Van der Ploeg said he was taken aback and hum­bled by the award, and said it could have been awarded to many peo­ple in- volved in the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“Words can­not de­scribe the ut­ter dis­be­lief and hon­our I feel,” van der Ploeg said.

“It has been an ab­so­lute plea­sure in help­ing oth­ers ski to the best of their abil­i­ties, and that’s been im­por­tant to me.

“Thank you all for recog­nis­ing my achieve­ments thus far and I’ll con­tinue to give them as I’ve done the past few years.”

Van der Ploeg comes from a renowned sport­ing fam­ily, and be­yond be­ing an ac­com­plished all-rounder on skis, he’s also an im­pres­sive moun­tain bike rider.

DWA was es­tab­lished in 1978 with the aim of pro­mot­ing and fos­ter­ing the par­tic­i­pa­tion of peo­ple with a dis­abil­ity in snow sports, and is largely run by ded­i­cated vol­un­teers such a van der Ploeg.

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