CHAM­PION OF RUGBY LEAGUE

St Marys pres­i­dent War­ren Smith recog­nised for life­time ded­i­ca­tion to ju­nior footy at home and abroad

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - SPORT - Vera Ber­tola

LONG­TIME St Marys Rugby League Club pres­i­dent War­ren Smith has been awarded NSW Rugby League’s high­est accolade for ser­vice to the sport.

Smith, who has been in­volved in the game for al­most 50 years, was pre­sented with the John Quinn Award at last week’s NSW Rugby League Vol­un­teer of the Year awards.

He was de­scribed by the NSWRL as “one of rugby league’s true gen­tle­men”.

“War­ren’s de­sire is not only for ju­niors to en­joy the great game of rugby league, but to learn about life, re­spect and ap­pre­ci­ate what they have and ex­pe­ri­ence other cul­tures,” it said in a state­ment.

Smith, 77, said he was deeply hum­bled by the hon­our, but em­pha­sised his con­tri­bu­tion to the sport was not for recog­ni­tion.

It was sim­ply, he said, to see the smile on the faces of the chil­dren who were able to play the game.

“I love do­ing it for the ju­niors,” Smith said. “It’s fan­tas­tic.”

Smith has been the pres­i­dent of St Marys for 27 years and is be­hind such club pro­grams as the un­der-13s’ an­nual trip to Fiji.

“This is our 17th trip this year and we have 1.2 tonnes of stuff to take over to the vil­lages and schools,” he said.

The other project close to his heart is St Marys’ re­la­tion­ship with Con­dobolin and Gunda­gai, whereby the Syd­ney club pro­vides jer­seys to the lo­cal teams. It also spon­sors 25 lo­cal schools by pro­vid­ing play­ing jer­seys.

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