2022 Regional Club of the Year; Wodonga Heart Football Club

Football Victoria (FV) congratulates Wodonga Heart Football Club on being named the Regional Club of the Year at the 2022 FV Community Awards.

Wodonga Heart Football Club (WHFC) is the largest multicultural diverse club in the AWFA Competition. The club prides itself on inclusion, player development, and ensuring all players and their families are supported to reach their full potential both on and off the field.

WHFC president Anton Maas said the last 12 months for the club was "mind-boggling"

"We started with some modest goals for the season as we were so new to the job, we had limited experience, and did not have many resources like sponsors," he explained. 

"But we were keen and we worked hard as a team. We managed to get lots of people and stakeholders involved and we went from strength to strength. 

"The end result was good growth, many happy people in the club, and success on the pitch as well. Then when we got the news that we won these two FV awards (Rose Martin - Female Volunteer of the Year) as well, this was really icing on the cake for us."

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Wodonga Heart's Rose Martin winning the 2022 Volunteer of the Year

During the season WHFC called upon Football Victoria for guidance and assistance in creating a practical strategic plan to ensure their program remains sustainable into future years with set goals and aspirations.

Head of Diversity and Inclusion Nick Hatzoglou said WHFC was recognised as the 2022 Regional Club of the Year because of its committed committee, strong ties to the community and diverse playing group.

"The community awards give us the chance to spotlight a handful of deserving volunteers, however, we would also like to acknowledge all the other hard-working volunteers of our football family who put in the hard yards every season."

WHFC vice-president Ryan Harris nominated the club because of the equal opportunity it provides for all players regardless of gender, ability, or stage of skill development.

“The culture of Wodonga Heart is what makes this happen,” he said.

“WHFC's strong stance on culture has been integral to making the Heart Family so strong and a desired destination for all families in our community.

“The cultural and family dynamic at WHFC means that you are not limited by your family background, your financial status, or playing ability.

“Every time we have been faced with a challenge; we have been able to come up with a creative way to include all those wishing to be part of the club.”

In Harris’ nomination, he described season 2022 as the most successful in the clubs’ history.

“It has been a massive year for WHFC, with player growth within our junior teams and Miniroos program, players selected for representative duties from AWFA, TSP, and State to winning our first-ever grand final,” he said.

“This year we particularly focused on inclusion and extending ourselves to meet community needs.

“This was assisted through the generous support of Football Victoria including equipment and supplies for those participating in the Girls United and Miniroos Multicultural Settlement Program, from this WHFC was able to run and participate in numerous community events with great success.”

WHFC was recognised at the Football  Victoria Community In Business Full-Time Luncheon on Friday, October 7 at Hyatt Place, Essendon Fields. The FV team congratulates the club for its hard work over the last 12 months to establish its self as a destination club in its region.