Steve Dunn wins AUF Beau Beere Award

Victorian Underwater Hockey stalwart Steve Dunn was recently announced as the 2013 recipient of the Australian Underwater Federation's Beau Beere Award.

Named after a prominent sports administrator, the award is bestowed to the person considered to have done the most for the advancement of underwater sports in Australia during the previous twelve months. A long term resident of Inverloch in South Eastern Victoria, Steve was recognised for his contribution to Underwater Hockey and especially for his junior development work.

Steve's association with the sport goes back to the opening of the Wonthaggi indoor pool in 1980. As a member of the South Gippsland Dive Club and the South Eastern Area Board Rider's Club he suggested that the two clubs play one another in a game of Underwater Hockey. He played with the eventual victors of that foundation game, the Board Riders team.

After more than thirty years he is still actively involved. In that time he has served as President, Treasurer and Secretary of the Wonthaggi Underwater Hockey club.

Steve Dunn receives the 2013 Beau Beere Award.

Steve Dunn receives the 2013 Beau Beere Award.

The award was announced by the Federal President of the Australian Underwater Federation, Graham Henderson, who acknowledged Steve’s long and dedicated service, “He has held numerous administrative positions over the years along with huge input into the promotion of juniors into the Club and sport.”

“Steve is to be congratulated for all his achievements. His nomination showed the respect, consideration and esteem with which he is held,” said Mr Henderson.

Steve was presented his award at a function held at the Wonthaggi pool after the final club game for the year. The current president of the Wonthaggi Underwater Hockey club, Kevin Chisholm, said it was well-deserved recognition, “It is great to see Steve being acknowledged at a national level. He has had an enormous influence sport of Underwater Hockey, not just here in the local area but across Victoria and Australia.”

“Steve’s enduring legacy is getting so many kids involved. He had a huge influence on my development within the sport and literally hundreds of people have played Underwater Hockey as a result of his passion. He teaches young kids about the importance of commitment and discipline. He instils a respect for fair play in everyone he teaches,” said Mr. Chisholm.

After all these years, Steve’s passion for Underwater Hockey hasn’t waned. Week after week, he attends the regular Thursday night session at the Wonthaggi pool. There, he puts the junior players through their paces before joining the adults for their game. Steve is the only foundation member still actively involved in the club.

When deliberating the nominations the federal board considered the future effects of the contribution made to the sport and the benefit to others achieved through nominee’s activities. Steve’s hard work certainly fulfils both criteria. His efforts have helped Wonthaggi become one of the most successful clubs in Victoria and the biggest producer of junior players in the state. Over the years dozens players have gone on to represent Victoria and Australia.

Not content with his contribution to date, Steve is busy preparing another crop of junior players who will travel to the Gold Coast in late January. There, they will compete in the Australian National Championships and Underwater Hockey will continue to benefit from Steve’s passion and dedication.