As well as being a proud fan of the Wellington Phoenix, Reece Lewis is an even prouder volunteer for the club.
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Now in his second season, Reece has been a key volunteer for the club and fills a variety of roles; from helping build the ‘match day experience’ during home matches at Sky Stadium to being involved in school and hospital visits as part of the club’s community programme.
44-year-old Reece says that volunteering for the Phoenix was an easy decision for him.
“I’ve been a supporter of the club for many years, and like the other vollies I wanted to give back to the football community.
“I remember the first match was a bit daunting, and like everyone I wanted to make sure I was doing a good job – and afterwards I was just buzzing, it was awesome to see the reactions of the children in the crowd.”
Volunteering isn’t new to Reece; he’s been a volunteer firefighter for the past five years and is involved in his local community in Stokes Valley. He says that being able to volunteer for an organisation that he also supports as fan, is an added bonus.
“What I love about the Phoenix is that everyone is on the same page, it’s like a big family and we’re all in it together and for a common cause.
“It’s great to be on the other side of the fence now, in that I’ve been a fan but now I’m part of the team that helps make it all happen – and being able to interact with the players and staff, in addition to the fans, is amazing as well.”
Reece says that volunteering is rewarding for anyone who is willing to put in the required time and effort.
“Seeing the difference that my role as a volunteer makes for people is gratifying; especially for kids coming through the football side of things and getting to see their heroes play – they look up to them, and me being a volunteer helps with that.”
The volunteering bug has caught on in the Lewis family too, with Reece’s daughter Katie often helping out on match day and his son Hayden coming along with him to community events.
Reece is one of over 30 volunteers who are part of the Wellington Phoenix football club, assisting either on match day or with the running of the club’s community programmes and activation events.