Published Fri 24 May 2024

There is no doubt that volunteers make water polo possible, and this National Volunteer Week, Water Polo Australia is celebrating those that selflessly give their time and energy to benefit our community.

2024 Volunteer of the Year Tammy Taylor is one such individual, continuously contributing at a local level despite her sons no longer living or playing in their home state.

Having received the official accolade at the Annual Awards in April, Tammy was proud to represent all those that volunteer at a local level, noting she was just one of many that was deserving of the award.

“It’s really nice to be recognised for all the hard work I’ve put in since my eldest son first started playing ten years ago,” she said.

“You don’t do it for recognition but it’s nice when someone from your community says ‘hey, you’re doing a good job’.”

As is the same for many others, Tammy’s first introduction to water polo came when her children began playing at school in South Australia.

“My son was at a water polo school and a coach saw him and said he had potential - that was really the start of my involvement,” Tammy said.

“Eventually his younger brother also chose to go down the water polo path after seeing his brother play at a Junior World Championships. 

“Despite my youngest now being 19, I still enjoy being involved as a volunteer, I just love the sport and I think it takes a whole community to make it happen,” she said.

While both of her sons now live and play in Cronulla, Tammy notes the community itself is now the main inspiration for her continued involvement.

“So much of my social network is still made up of water polo people. The friends I’ve made over the past 10 years have become lifelong friends, and I can honestly say that if I was to hold any sort of function, 90 percent of the people there would be from within the water polo community,” she said.

“I love that water polo is an Olympic sport and just wish it was more high profile. I enjoy being involved as a volunteer and would love for the sport to become even more popular - I think those of us already involved can play a role in that just by talking about it more.”

Tammy could not be more supportive and encouraging of people looking to make a start in volunteering, noting that there’s a role out there for everyone.

“You’re not going to get roped into a role that takes up 40 hours a week, even just one hour of your time makes a big difference,” said Tammy. 

“If we all just gave a little bit of time and spread the load and the love, the community will benefit.”