Bunbury football volunteer Tom Busher has been recognised for his significant contribution and leadership in the growth and development of football in the South West as the 2017 recipient of The WA Football Volunteer of the Year Award.
Busher was presented with the award at the West Australian Football League Sandover Medal count on Monday night.
He was one of 17 regional and district finalists chosen from more than 2,000 nominees and has received a trip for two to the AFL Grand Final.
West Australian Football Commission chief executive officer Gavin Taylor congratulated Busher on receiving the honour.
“I’d like to commend Tom on his outstanding contribution and dedication in helping to promote and grow of our great game in the South West region,” Taylor said.
“Football in WA just wouldn’t happen without the dedication and commitment of more than 40,000 hard-working volunteers across the state like Tom, and it’s really important they are recognised.
“Thanks to The Sunday Times, who sponsored the award, we can honour the contribution and efforts from passionate volunteers who live and breathe our traditional game.”
Busher is currently the President and sponsorship director of Bunbury Football Club and a member of the South West Regional Football Development Council.
He has been a driving force in raising much-needed funds to provide extra football staff to the region.
Busher established the ‘AFL for Life’ plan to raise $100,000 every year for a minimum of three years to fund a full-time South West Football Development Officer.
Over the past three years, between his roles with the Bunbury Football Club and as a junior football coach, Busher lined up a number of sponsorship deals with local companies in the region and raised more than $300,000.
ALCOA, Brookfield Rail, Stockman Holden, the South West Football League and Caltex are just a few of the companies Busher managed to secure financial support from.
A full-time Football Development Officer is now working in the area and producing fantastic school and community football outcomes in the region.
Busher has also been instrumental in driving Auskick participation numbers at Bunbury Football Club, which has experienced a 300 oer cent increase in participants over the last two years.
The outstanding growth in this segment was largely due to the introduction of Friday night Auskick sessions where parents and their children were provided with a free meal.
This weekend, Busher’s Bunbury Football Club will compete for both the SWFL colts and league premierships against Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault.