Ricky Holt named Bega Valley Citizen of the Year

Citizen of the Year: Ricky Holt has been named Bega Valley Citizen of the Year for his tireless efforts through sporting clubs and community services.
Citizen of the Year: Ricky Holt has been named Bega Valley Citizen of the Year for his tireless efforts through sporting clubs and community services.

Ricky Holt’s interest in sport and his passion to help people has touched lives in the Bega Valley and beyond.

A plumber by trade, Ricky came to the region from Albury when he was hired as coach for the Pambula Panthers AFL Club – he had intended to stay for just a couple of years, but he and wife Kerry have now been here and part of the Club for almost 30 years.

During that time, as well as coaching, Ricky has taken on the role of Club President – a contribution the Panthers recognised with life membership.

He has also been a long-standing committee member of the Pambula Cricket Club, been a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, and a Team Organiser for Relay for Life.

The Masters AFL Carnival is perhaps one of the things Ricky is best known for.

Every Easter for the last 10 years, the local AFL team the ‘Buccaneers’ has invited teams from around Australia to three-day’s of footy, fun, and fundraising at the Pambula Sporting Complex.

The Carnival raises money for disadvantaged children in Bali – in particular the Bettel Children’s Home.

These three days of over 35’s football usually raises between $3,000 and $6,000 – which goes a long way in Bali, supporting up to 60 children for a year.

Every year or two Ricky and the Buccaneers – travel to Bali at their own expense to hand the money over and work on local infrastructure projects.

Ricky’s big heart and sense of duty had him take over bowling greens in 2016 with his 50 - 50 lawn bowls challenge.

Every day for 50 days, Ricky played bowls at a different NSW Bowling Clubs, 50 clubs in 50 days – a journey that took him from Tweed Heads to Sydney, to Dubbo, Canberra and Albury.

Each club along the way held a charity day, and at the end of his run in early December Ricky had raised close to $100, 000 for research and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis and Autism, two conditions Ricky’s extended family live with.

Ricky embodies a community service that starts locally but goes beyond the boundaries or this community and this country.

A busy man who demonstrates the power of one.