HAYDEN Croghan has been recognised for his years of service to Palmyra Rugby Club with a finalist’s berth in the Australian Rugby Union Young Volunteer of the Year Award.
Croghan was born a Palmyra, and some of his earliest memories involve watching his father Paul play for the club.
“I grew up watching both of my parents volunteering in different sporting and community organisations which instilled the importance of giving back to something you love,” he said.
“My father volunteered in numerous roles at Pally which saw him receive a life membership as well as an award created in his name to recognise the importance of volunteers in the junior club.
“I’ve always been around selling raffle tickets, being a ball boy and helping in the canteen; anything for a can of drink or chocolate bar, as you do as a young kid.
“Then during my time at Wesley College I volunteered as a rugby coach for younger year groups and enjoyed it so much that I’ve been coaching at Palmyra since I was 17.”
In addition to junior coaching, Croghan is also the youngest member of the club’s committee and has acted as the club’s webmaster and social media manager since 2013; during that time increasing Palmyra’s Facebook likes from fewer than 200 to more than 2000.
He is also a player welfare officer, physio and sports trainer co-ordinator and an assistant coach to the women’s Premier Grade side.
Croghan also plays for Palmyra’s Premier Grade side and said his most satisfying moments at the club come playing alongside boys he had coached in juniors.
“I feel humbled that I have been shortlisted from all the nominations across the country and honoured that someone at my club has seen fit to nominate me; it’s a privilege to represent my club at this level,” he said.
Winners will be announced at the John Eales Medal ceremony tonight.
If Croghan wins, Palmyra Rugby Club will receive a $5000 grant.