Growing up beside the surf of Batemans Bay, Don Wales was always inspired by his mother's tireless volunteering efforts. Her inspiration is the reason why he has been volunteering for Tuggeranong United for the past couple of years.
“I grew up lifesaving and volunteering because I was inspired by my mum,” Don shared. “My mum influenced me so I hope that by setting a good example, I am influencing my boys the same way my mum did.
“A couple of years ago, we moved to Canberra from Victoria and my boys wanted to continue playing soccer and the closest soccer club was Tuggeranong United. I really liked how the club was developing players as young adults and not only as footballers.
“So I started to help around the place by managing the NPL U13s team and it has all gone from there.”
Don said he learnt from an early age how important volunteers are, especially in the community.
“Every club needs volunteers and clubs won’t survive without them. After all, things don’t happen unless people get involved,” Don said. “I would encourage others to get on board and have a go. Don’t underestimate the influence you can make.
“It might seem like you are putting in the hours and doesn’t seem to be appreciated, but you are appreciated. You will be surrounded by good people who are likeminded, which makes it enjoyable.”
Tuggeranong United president Stan Mitchell applauded Don’s commitment to the club.
“Don has been a member of the Tuggeranong United family for a few years now and is always assisting with improving the player experience,” Stan said.
“If he is not at the grounds during preseason ensuring all equipment is maintained correctly and fit for the season, he is working in the canteen, managing multiple teams or running the line when needed.
“Don can be found at a football field every day assisting someone in the club. He is also currently on the Tuggeranong United Board and is mentoring our two youngest board members who are in their 20s. He is a tower of strength who is always happy to assist.”