Football Queensland is pleased to announce Brigitte DeCourcy, the heart and soul of Buderim Wanderers, as the Volunteer of the Month for April.
DeCourcy, 59, began volunteering with Buderim Wanderers in the 1980s and has done almost every possible job around the club, often spending up to 30 hours a week at Ballinger Park.
“We’re here Saturday and Sunday, I did 16 hours and a couple of the girls did 20 hours over the weekend,” said DeCourcy.
“I come every Wednesday to do the bins and the recycling. I look after the garden, I cook, I do the shopping, I try and hand mow all the areas that the big ride-on mowers can’t get to. Whatever needs doing, really, I’ll do it.
“All of what I do comes from my heart. I’m a Virgo, so I love giving. Seeing the smiles on young people’s faces is enough to recharge me. That’s what keeps me going.”
Football is a family affair for DeCourcy. Her husband, Noddy, helped Buderim Wanderers win the Sunshine Coast premiership, grand final, Clive Fenn Cup and Qantas Cup in 1985. They have been at the club ever since.
“I didn’t have anything to do with football until I met my husband, who was playing at Woombye at the time. My inspiration came from his Mum and Dad, who started Nambour Reds,” said DeCourcy.
“I just loved how they supported both their boys to the max. I didn’t have that from my parents with regards to sport, because they were too religious. I decided that if we had kids, that’s what I wanted for my children.”
Their daughter Nikita now serves on the committee, while their son Keegan – named after the legendary Liverpool striker, Kevin Keegan – plays in the Premier Men’s side and coaches juniors. And there is a grandchild on the way.
“My goal now is still the same: provide the best facility, have pride in your club, and give the kids opportunities to hopefully set them up for life,” said DeCourcy.
“I know how much my kids got out of it. Keegan is going to be a Dad in October, so I’ve got a grandkid coming, and I’d just like him or her – whatever it is – to have the best facilities and opportunities.”
Through volunteering at Buderim, DeCourcy has gained a sense of belonging to a community she can always call on. In 2004, when she went through a battle with breast cancer, “it was the football community that were there for me,” she said.
“If I ever want anything done, all my Buderim boys will say, ‘yeah, I’ll help you’. I’ve only got to walk up to them and ask for a hand. These boys, I’ve known some of them since they were babies. I respect them and they respect me. That’s what we’ve built over the years.”
But like most sporting clubs throughout Australia, DeCourcy and her fellow volunteers would always welcome another pair of hands. During National Volunteer Week, she is encouraging her fellow Queenslanders to give back to their local club.
“There’s enough bad in the world, so why can’t we give a little bit?” said DeCourcy. “If we all gave, can you imagine where we’d be? We’re always looking for volunteers to help. Just an hour or two, to give something back.”
To find out how to volunteer, click here.