YOU would be hard pressed to find many people involved in as many grassroots organisations over their lifetime as Bruce Henderson.
The Rostrata Football Club president and coach was named Canning Citizen of the Year for his volunteer work across a number of community groups over the past few years.
In addition to his position at Rostrata, he is an ex-Riverton Football Club member and has been involved with Lynwood Senior High School for the past decade as school board deputy chairman and P&C president.
He has also been involved in a number of programs that have affected the wider Perth community, such as the Driver Training Program and the Royal Flying Doctors’ On the Road Again.
Mr Henderson said his involvement with so many clubs and initiatives was borne from an early introduction to grassroots clubs: he was barely out of high school when he became Armadale Four-Wheel Drive Club president.
“I struggled very much as a child; I had bad dyslexia,” he said. “When I was 17, I joined the Four-Wheel Drive club and the president took me under his wing.
“He taught me how to read, write and deal with constitutions, how to run meetings and so forth.
“You can’t give back to the person who taught or mentored you, so you’ve got to pass it on.”
Mr Henderson said he had an ingrained desire to lend a helping hand in any way needed at the numerous clubs he has been involved with.
“Finding people with the experience to run these organisations is difficult; most people are intimidated by it but because I’ve been doing it so long, it’s second nature,” he said.
“I find it difficult to walk into a club and sit back and do nothing. It’s very rewarding to do these sorts of things; people don’t realise the benefits you get from it.”
In his work at Lynwood Senior High School and the two junior football clubs, Mr Henderson said he took great pride in helping the next generation make positive changes.
“When I first got on the Lynwood board 10 years ago, it had a bit of a bad reputation,” he said.
“Working with the principals to shift the focus and now this year, seeing it win it High School of the Year at the WA Education Awards, was very rewarding.
“With junior footy, you get a lot of kids who are a little bit intimidated by the tackling, so some of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done is to see kids who were struggling come into their own and embrace it and reach goals they never thought they’d get to.”