Hard work, loyalty, and dedication, they have been the very traits West Ryde Rovers Club President and North West Sydney Football Chairperson Karen Waud has lived by during her fifty-one plus years of involvement with the sport.
As a leading female administrator in our game, the 60-year-old has given a lot of her blood, sweat and tears to the club especially, pouring hours and hours into ensuring the Rovers are ready to go on match days amongst many other things.
“I’ve been with the Rovers playing sport for over 51 years.
“I’ve been the President at the Rovers club that includes netball, cricket and of course football for the past 38 years.
“It’s an interesting story but I started playing football later in life as at the time I was growing up at the Rovers, there was no football for girls so I played netball for the club – I can tell you that I have been playing football for the past 15 years with the North West Sydney Football Women’s Over 35’s side and continue to enjoy it.”
A leading volunteer also, the 2019 Football NSW State Award winner heaped praise on how important volunteers were to our sport.
“Without a shadow of a doubt volunteers are the true backbone of each and every football club.
“Without volunteers we would not exist today, it’s as simple as that – they are a pinnacle part of the Football Family and we owe a lot to them.
“We are blessed with some of the best of them at the Rovers, our football committee have in excess of 25 volunteers while we have 150 club coaches and managers who are in charge of our 90 clubs looking after our 1000 plus members.”
Waud’s been part of the West Ryde Rovers setup since 1982, giving her a cult like status at Meadowbank Park every Saturday and Sunday during the football season.
It’s been a family affair that got Waud into the sport but the Rovers especially as her father Lester (after whom the LH Waud field at Meadowbank was named after) really enjoyed his football.
“My father Lester Harry Waud was a well-known contributor to Sport in the West Ryde Area.
“He was a well-respected man and loved the game and certainly was one key influence in me playing the game.
“It also helped that I had four older brothers who also played the sport.”
Meadowbank Park was somewhat of a ghost town for the past three months ever since COVID-19 put a stop to all football operations but like Waud, who has three daughters and three grand children who play the game, were delighted to have seen restrictions eased as training only was recently given the all clear.
“I was very excited once this news filtered through as the main reason we do this is to get the kids and adults back playing the sport we all love.
“I know it’s going to be hard work and we are currently doing our best in getting everyone ready for the start of the season once more.
“I missed my sports family and all my volunteers and friends very much during the break – I did especially miss watching my grandchildren play but now I cannot wait to see this all fall into place week in week out once more.”