Robin Gardner named senior volunteer of the year

Recognised: Moorebank resident Robin Gardner has notched up 50 years supporting the Randy-Petes cricket club. She's now on the committee. Picture: Chris Lane
Recognised: Moorebank resident Robin Gardner has notched up 50 years supporting the Randy-Petes cricket club. She's now on the committee. Picture: Chris Lane

It's 40-minutes from Moorebank to Coogee Oval or Randwick Oval. Trust Robin Gardner - she knows.

The Moorebank resident has been a stalwart of the Petersham-Marrickville and now Randwick-Petersham cricket clubs for more than 50-years.

Every Saturday she is one of the first to arrive and last to leave, serving afternoon tea to cricketers, officials and supporters.

She was recognised for her years of service with the senior volunteer of the year award at the recent 2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award regional ceremony for the Fairfield and Liverpool region.

Supported by the the NSW Department of Communities and Justice and ClubsNSW, the virtual event was hosted by The Centre for Volunteering. She was nominated for the award by the club.

The patron of the club got involved in the club in the 1966/67 season scoring for her late-husband Stuart's Petersham Marrickville team. She then went into cricket hospitality and helped turned afternoon tea into more than a brief adjournment in play.

"We're well-known for our sandwiches - chicken, ham and roast beef - with all the salads you could possibly want," said Robin, who was "honoured and humbled" to be recognised with an award.

"I don't do these things for the recognition."

The club's merger with Randwick in 2001 meant an additional ground to cater for but she didn't mind. She didn't complain either when they extended playing hours or turning up Saturday and Sunday. She does it with a smile on her face - because she loves the club and the game. In 2016, the club celebrated her contribution during a first grade match on Robin Gardner Day.

"I enjoy it because the boys are so wonderful and I love the game and you meet the best people being involved with cricket," she said.

The Centre for Volunteering chief executive Gemma Rygate said volunteers from across every region of NSW have continued to give their "time, energy and compassion" in the face of enormous adversity over the past 12 months.

"This is what the Australian spirit is all about. Helping others. Helping your community and never giving up. I couldn't be more proud of the region's volunteers and their incredible resilience and spirit," she said.