The recent AGM of Freezone Volleyball on Sunday 29th July saw Freezone Volleyball elect a new committee and executive officers to take the club into the future. This sees a momentous moment where our President of 10 years departs the club as the Executive Member, and passes the baton to our new president and committee.
Wally Salinger celebrated his tenure with a small ceremony this evening after our training session where new and old members openly expressed their gratitude and affection for his long standing commitment and leadership within the club and the community in general. His time was celebrated in dedications, pictures, a friendly roasting and even in song as members joined in acknowledging his huge contribution over the past 10 years.
The reflections on his term as president, showed how much passion Wally has invested, and the role that he has encouraged the club to play in giving people of all identities an open, safe and friendly environment to participate, socialise and excel within.
Wally has led Freezone Volleyball from a gaggle of sporting nuts, left after the height and giddiness of the gay games in Sydney 2002, to a thriving organisation that supports residents and visitors alike in a sporting fraternity of friendliness and thriving ability. In his time, Wally has co-ordinated this small club from relative obscurity and financial fragility, into a secure, fiscally sound and supportive organisation with a prominent identity in the Sydney GLBTI community and sporting community in general.
Wally has personally secured over $40,000 in sponsorship and facilitated endless events and inter-club relationships over the years. From initiating competitions and leading unique events such as the Thailand AIDS Awareness campaign, Gay Games and World Masters teams, GAMMA and ACON Awareness campaigns, Wally has set himself beyond compare in his capacity to be enthusiastic, supportive and effective in achieving success for the club and those around him.
Perhaps his most effective and loved role was as his team captain over the years, which is currently in its 4th incarnation as ASS Whites! As any new member and inexperienced player has discovered, Wally is the perfect mentor, patiently and enthusiastically encouraging individuals to better themselves, increase their skill and come out of any shells they may have to be exuberant and confident individuals. The club ranks swell with people who started with ‘the friendly german giant’ and have achieved great heights with state, national and international volleyball tournaments, as well as finding personal confidence and social stability. No club can survive without new energy and Wally has been at the forefront of ensuring this over his time at the club. A talent and energy that will be sorely missed.
Wally paid tribute to the supporting members and committees from the past and those that have assisted him in his time, during the AGM and small celebratory presentation. But all would agree that without the managerial skill of attracting new energy and activating individuals, identifying their unique skills and bringing them to fruition, the club would never have enjoyed the success it currently holds.
Wally also paid tribute to one special behind the scenes person, his partner of 11 years, Michael Judd. No leader can commit so much energy and time to a club without putting strain on a personal relationship. Mike has wethered the commitment and given Wally the time to shine in his role as president. Something the whole volleyball community is very blessed to have benefited from.
Wally’s legacy is a successful club that supports and thrives with individuals who not only achieve sporting prowess, but have formed friendships and a sense of community through a group of like minded individuals. There are many personal stories over the years, that owe a gratitude to Wally’s friendly nature, sympathetic ear and guiding encouragement. His considered and calm guidance has steered people onto success not only on the court, but in business, personal life and in the community in general.
Wally we thank you for your leadership and legacy, for your commitment, energy and dedication over the past 10 years. We look forward to still having you in the club and enjoying your infectious enthusiasm for many years to come.