BELINDA Holt has been one of the unsung heroes behind the success of touch football across the Shoalhaven for years.
And at the recent NSW Touch Blues Night held at the Bankstown Sports Club, she was recognised for her efforts over the past 30 years, taking home the Distinguished Service Award.
"I originally found out I was receiving the award two weeks before the presentation night, after receiving an email from NSW Touch, saying I had been nominated by my peers at Nowra-Shoalhaven Touch," Holt said.
"To me the award is a honour, as it recognises the work I've done to make sure the summer and winter competitions run smoothly.
"At the end of the day, competitions like these wouldn't run without volunteers."
Holt's involvement in the sport first started on Sunday morning at Parramatta Park, leading to her playing in representative teams for both Parramatta and Wests.
But when she moved to the South Coast for work, the sport acted as an avenue for her to meet people.
"When I moved to Nowra, I didn't know a soul, so I became involved in a team with a lot of navy people and slowly built a friendship base," she said.
"The sport has been really good to me over the years."
Since starting at Nowra/Berry Touch in 1995, the sport has made huge changes.
"The competition bases have changed and the team participation numbers have dropped unfortunately," she said.
"We used to run both a women's, men's and mixed competition.
"But with other sports, such as summer soccer, getting bigger and the lack of a junior competition within the Nowra area, our numbers have dropped.
"We have so much talent in the area and we need to foster our young people into this great sport.
"I'm hoping that by the end of this year we will be sending a men's open team to the state championships in Port Macquarie and getting a junior competition up and running next year.
"It all takes time and of course volunteers."
If you'd like to start playing touch football in the Shoalhaven, please visit the Nowra Shoalhaven Touch Association Facebook page.
Or contact Holt directly on: 0438 235 679