Lifetime of loving Comets sees club's ‘first lady’ recognised
IMAGINE a bunch of burly footballers surrounding a sixty-something lady, loudly singing the club anthem.
And imagine that same lady sitting on the captain's knee, singing along as loudly as she can as the players she's come to love (and who all love her) celebrate a fine achievement.
The lady is Sandra Ellicott, now approaching her fourth decade of service to Coffs Harbour Comets, who will be feted later this year at a dinner hosted by the NRL.
She will be joined by others from around Australia who will be celebrated for their lifetime achievements and contribution to rugby league as part of the One Community program.
Camera crews from The Footy Show spent the weekend following her through game day at Geoff King Motors Park when Sawtell Panthers came to visit, before the Coffs players took over to toast their legendary administrator during a night to remember at the Leagues Club.
"Sometimes it's been a bit much and I've been wondering what all the fuss is about," Sandra said while enjoying Sunday with friends at the races.
"I suppose it was a bit embarrassing to have all those players around me singing, especially as it was so loud, but I'm glad they were just having fun."
Comets president Steve Gooley was behind the initial nomination and said that in his short period as the club's coach and chief administrator, he was amazed at Sandra's capacity to make a difference.
"I would think that you would be hard pressed to find a more dedicated person in rugby league," he said.
"In the days the club was struggling for money, Sandra would put in her own money to buy jumpers so they would arrive on time for the season.
"We owe a significant debt to this lady as without her dedication, the club would not be as strong as it currently is or, indeed, may not even be here."