She may have five kids, but Belinda Prakhounheuang’s rugby league family is much larger.
The Macarthur Saints Rugby League Football Club secretary was nominated in the NSW Rugby League Volunteer of the Year awards for her tireless efforts with the club.
None of the Rosemeadow resident’s children currently play with the Saints, but she has maintained her role out of the love of the people around her.
“Over the years you get to learn everyone’s names and faces and you become like a big family,” she said.
“I just love all the guys and girls at the club, I love watching them grow and succeed.
“I’ve become emotionally invested and grown attached to all of them.
“It’s like having 20 extra sons.
“You ride the highs and lows together.”
Ms Prakhounheuang began with the club in 2010 when two of her sons joined teams.
She said she was happy to sit on the sidelines in those days and didn’t put too much thought into how the games were run.
But she worked her way through the club, starting in the the canteen, then becoming a manager and eventually landing on secretary.
Her all-encompassing role sees Ms Prakhounheuang coordinate home games, ensure all coaches are informed of and understand rule changes and fill out score sheets, among many other tasks.
“No one volunteers for the glory,” she said.
“I do what I do for the love of it. I think this nomination is a representation of the hard work of all the volunteers out there and I’m proud to stand for that.”
Ms Prakhounheuang said even though the season had finished she still enjoyed visits from players who stopped by for a cup of tea or coffee.
She said the rugby league community was a wonderful group to be involved with.
“Rugby league has a place for everyone,” she said.
“The girls’ game is growing and it doesn’t matter whether you’re a small kid or a big kid there’s always a position in the team for you.
“The game is full of diversity and there’s no judgement.”