HAVING grown up playing sport, former West Perth Football Club president Colin Rockman knows the importance of staying active through generations.
The Dianella resident (74), who spent six years as president at the club and two years as the WAFL Council of Presidents, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division for his service in sports administration.
He labelled West Perth’s 2003 premiership as the highlight of his reign, along with building the club to having the second-most participation numbers behind Claremont.
Mr Rockman, who is also a Maccabi WA hall of fame member, said he was “very humble and amazed’ with the medal, as he believed there were many people who contributed more to sport than him.
“I started playing sport as a young boy and the guys I played sport with from 11 years old till now have been my close friends for my whole life,” he said.
“I realised if I wanted my grandchildren and the next generations to experience what I had, then I had to put back.
“Coming from a family where my father who was very community-minded and then when I married, my father-in-law was equally community-minded – it was something that you just did.”
However, Mr Rockman said nowadays, there were less grandparents attending kids’ sporting matches.
“I go and watch my 11-year-old grandson play basketball out at Warwick and I am very disappointed at the lack of grandparents watching grandkids play sport,” he said.
“It is very, very important that we realise things have changed … it is even more important for grandparents to be involved and assist kids in developing sport.
“It is up to you to be the best you that you can be.”
The former Big Rock Toyota general manager said after retiring 17 years ago, he wanted to give back to the community that supported him throughout the years.
Five-and-a-half years ago, Mr Rockman founded the Living in Retirement group of male retirees which met every Tuesday at the Maccabi grounds in Yokine.
He also gave back to the community through providing Justice of the Peace services in the City of Bayswater.