South West Rocks Stalwart Earns Official Gong

For Mid North Coast surf sport athletes the friendly face of Ray McDonagh is a familiar sight at local carnivals, but now his achievements are being acknowledged by a much wider audience with him being named the 2015 Sports Official of the Year.

In a year where among other achievements he received his 50 year badge of service, Ray also served as an official at Rescue 14, the NSW State Championships, The Aussies and the NSW IRB Series. He also attended and served at every branch carnival around the Mid North Coast, and continued to serve his club however it was required.

The classic road trip song, “Hit The Road Jack” could apply equally to Ray McDonagh’s travels throughout the 2014/15 season. In his position as Branch Director for Surf Sports he clocked up 1400 km for meetings, and an additional 600km attending various carnivals.

“It’s really an honour to achieve this award. I’m really pleased that we have been able to increase the number of officials on the Mid North Coast and it’s great to be part of their journey. Officiating is really like a family as you spend so much time together at the various carnivals,” a clearly delighted McDonagh said on Saturday.

Underpinning Ray’s unquestioned determination is a fierce desire to improve the surf sport experience for competitors, officials and spectators. He is keen for more athletes to become involved, particularly the younger ones and last season helped to implement an innovative Tri Series Competition between the Lower North Coast, Mid North Coast, and North Coast branch.

Ray is also keen to mentor the next generation of officials, and thanks to his efforts numbers have actually increased in the Mid North Coast branch.

“I have a number of programs in place for next season so my hope is they’re bigger and better than even. What I really love about being an official is helping members be able to achieve all their goals in surf sports, it’s important to not lose sight of it,” he said.

The 2015 SLSNSW Awards of Excellence are proudly presented by Stramit Building Products. Almost 350 of Surf Life Saving’s most outstanding lifesavers, athletes, educators, coaches, and administrators from around the state gathered at Sydney’s iconic Four Seasons Hotel for a night of celebration.

For a full list of all the winners and to see photographs from the night please visit the SLSNSW Awards of Excellence Event Page or our social media channels

Photograph - Ray McDonagh (South Wests Rocks SLSC) poses with his award for Surf Sports Official of the Year.

Mon 31 Aug 2015