Danielle Coates receives National Primary School Ambassador Award

St Francis of the Fields Strathfieldsaye physical education coordinator Danielle Coates. Picture NONI HYETT (Bendigo Advertiser)

Danielle Coates, from St Francis of the Fields Strathfieldsaye in Victoria, has been named as the national award winner in the Primary School Ambassador category, as part of the 2021 Toyota AFL National Volunteer Awards.

The annual awards recognise volunteers across Australia who have made outstanding contributions to community football. All NAB AFL Auskick centres, schools, community clubs and leagues in each state and territory were invited to participate, with more than 600 nominations received nationally.

Danielle is a physical education coordinator and teacher, and she has been a strong supporter of community football and has contributed significantly to some of the great outcomes that have been achieved with AFL Central Victoria in the local Bendigo area.

She has strongly supported the promotion of the game within her school of 575 students, junior clubs and the community, in particular, when coming out of COVID 19 lock downs with some of the AFL CV promotions that have been on offer.

Danielle has also promoted the importance of connecting schools to nearby Auskick Centres and coordinators and junior football clubs, and she is striving to promote the growth of junior football and Auskick at St Francis of the Fields.

Her tireless work—along with the help of other coordinators and junior coaches—has seen participation numbers increase in the Auskick program at the school.

Coates and her daughter. Picture: NONI HYETT (Bendigo Advertiser)

In a recent interview with the Bendigo Advertiser, Danielle spoke about the award and the role she and others have helped to play in combining sport and education.

"I am exceptionally honoured to win the award," she said.

"As a teacher it's my duty to ensure I give the students the best opportunities to set them up for success in the future.”

"We really have an amazing committee and coaches who do so well in igniting the students' passion for football."

Danielle is one of nine category winners in the Toyota AFL National Volunteer Awards and receives a ‘Grand Final Experience’ including tickets for her and a guest to the 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final and return flights*.

*Those unable to travel to Perth will have their prize postponed to 2022.