Como’s Vera WIL Volunteer of the Year

One of the behind-the-scenes workers helping to keep rugby league at the grass roots level in a healthy state, Vera Lente from the Como Crocodiles has been named 2018 Cronulla-Sutherland District Junior Rugby League Women In League Volunteer of the Year.

Selected after each of the 14 local clubs submitted nominations, the Executive Committee of the Cronulla-Sutherland JRL decided that Ms Lente, a life member of the Como club, to be the most deserving from what was an outstanding and worthy group of applicants.

Involved with the club for over 35 years, Vera's involvement began after following her mum and brothers down to Scylla Bay every weekend.

"It started through watching my brothers who all played and Mum worked in the canteen. I got bored sitting around so I jumped in and helped out," Lente said.

And she's been helping out ever since.

Currently the canteen manager, Lente has filled a variety of roles, doing whatever was necessary to keep the Crocodiles rolling along.

"I'm in the canteen now, I work in the bar, do the barbeque, I've always done the raffles across the road at the pub, ground control, whatever needs to be done," she said.

And there have been many highlights, with Vera having witnessed numerous Como premierships over time, but it's the friendships she has built up over a long period, with the Como faithful, as well as with players, officials and supporters from across the local junior league.

"I just enjoy the interaction with people. Not just with people from our club but the friendships you form with people from other clubs as well," Vera added.

As a part of their submission in support of Vera, the Como club was understandably vocal in their praise.

"Vera's selfless involvement comes from a very Community minded person who has never had any children and therefore no direct initial reasoning to be involved. Her participation over 35 years has been from pure understanding of the need for volunteers in the community," the club nomination detailed.

"Throughout the years Vera has performed a large range of roles including Canteen Manager for many years and is the Canteen Manager for 2018 in the new clubhouse. Vera has been Assistant Manager's to Senior Premiership winning sides, Committee Member throughout, Stock purchaser and controller, assisted at training sessions, washed jumpers incessantly and generally carried out any duty that needed doing or could not find a volunteer to perform."

For someone who does her best work behind the scenes and out of the limelight, the award which coincides with the NRL's Women In League celebrations, shines the spotlight on one of the unsung heroes of rugby league. It is an awarded extremely warranted and well deserved.

While the Junior League will hold a night to honour Vera and the other Women In League volunteers nominated by their respective clubs, on Saturday night when they take on the Cowboys, the Sharks will show their appreciation by inviting Vera and a friend to enjoy the game from the Terrace area on top of the Peter Burns Stand.

The prize is a thank you Vera for her contribution to both Como and the JRL.

Through the recently formed FINS (CLICK HERE to find out more) and through other numerous initiatives, the Sharks recognise and celebrate the contribution of women in the game.