After a judging process that combined our expert panel with an online vote, we ended up with an outstanding group of winners. The Confederation of Australian Sport said: “We are delighted to see the wonderful array of nominations for this year’s Clubbies awards. These are very worthy nominees that highlight the enormous contribution that Clubbies volunteers make in the 20,000 community sporting clubs throughout Australia. Congratulations to the 2017 Clubbies winners.”

Polar Electro Australia managing director Drew Oryszczyn said: “Polar Electro Australia congratulates all the Winners and honourable mentions of the 2017 Clubbies Awards. To be nominated is an enormous achievement and is deserved recognition for those that volunteer their time and efforts into making grassroots sport in Australia great. We are proud to be associated with the Clubbies Awards, giving acknowledgment to the dedication, integrity and displays of sportsmanship of everyday Australians.”

One of the oldest clubs of the Bankstown District Amateur Football Association, the Kookaburras celebrate their 75th anniversary in 2017. Befitting their location in one of Sydney’s distinctly multicultural districts, East Bankstown has served to break down barriers in their community with a commitment to diversity. Honourable mention: Macquarie United FC (NSW), Mudgeeraba Nerang Cricket Club (Qld), Wilston Grange Triathlon (Qld)

BEST COACH: David “Charlie” Whetu, Grays Point Arrows Softball Club (NSW)
Charlie Whetu has been a softball coach for more than 20 years, and has worked at the highest levels of the sport in Australia, including as an assistant on the 1996 Australian Olympic team. But his contribution to softball’s grassroots in NSW and the Sutherland shire have been significant. Even now, Whetu coaches kids in T-ball and the softball variant modball, ensuring new softball players get the best advice from the start. Honourable mention: Brian Patrick Harrington, Hervey Bay Triathlon (Qld); Pamela Pemberton, Free Radicals Triathlon (Qld)

BEST CLUB STALWART: Noel McCabe, McLeod Country Golf Club (Qld)
Like so many golf club members of long standing, Noel McCabe has done a bit of everything in his 40 years at McLeod Country Golf Club, an 18-hole course just outside of Brisbane. McCabe has been committed in particular to the cause of junior golfers, walking the course with first-time players under the age of ten, running the special Pee Wees pennant competitions for them and overseeing details right down to laying out the junior tees on the weekend. Honourable mention: Zonya Bird, Mountain Creek Mooloolaba Swim Club (Qld)

BEST SPORT ASSOCIATION: City of Sydney Netball (NSW)
An association with a difference: with no club teams, all of City of Sydney’s players are part of a holistic program that encourages its girls to learn about their fitness, health, being part of a team, leadership and dedication. The players are mixed together among the competing teams to encourage friendships between all athletes, rather than just being limited to a certain category or age group. Honourable mention: Gold Coast Softball (Qld)

BEST MASTERS PERFORMANCE: Esther Brooks, Atherton Tablelands Dressage and Equestrian Association (Qld)
At 73, Esther Brooks remains an active competitor in dressage, and has been an invaluable volunteer for her far north Queensland association since it was formed in 2006. Club president Margot Warnett said Brooks had been a mentor to the 100 or so riders in the association, and they all appreciated her passion for dressage – Brooks had ridden from a very young age and competed at the highest of levels in official Equestrian Australia competitions, often on young and difficult horses. Honourable mention: Rayners Sunshine Coast AFL (Qld)