TIME OUT: Dena and her grandson Jack Marscham in a relaxed mood during a halftime break at a Grafton Redmen home game. Jack also loves his rugby and is keen to play for the Redmen juniors next season. Photo: Gary Nichols
TIME OUT: Dena and her grandson Jack Marscham in a relaxed mood during a halftime break at a Grafton Redmen home game. Jack also loves his rugby and is keen to play for the Redmen juniors next season. Photo: Gary Nichols

SPORTS AWARDS: A decade of taking care of the Redmen

DENA Hamilton has witnessed some grisly sights on the rugby field. Broken bones, eye gashes and the occasional bout of concussion.

Every time the Grafton Redmen draw a home game, Hamilton is there on the sidelines, watching intently for any player in need of help.

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A qualified enrolled nurse, Hamilton spends her Saturday afternoons perched in her chair ready to react as soon as she spots a player down behind play. And she does it for the love of the game.

"I've been attending rugby games for the past ten years and rugby league before that," Hamilton said.

"I knew nothing about rugby at first but picked up the rules and learnt a fair bit about the game… and I love it."

 

LENDING A HAND: Grafton volunteer and enrolled nurse Dena Hamilton spends her Saturday's at Grafton Redmen Rugby Union Club home games ensuring injured players are well looked after. Photo: Gary Nichols
LENDING A HAND: Grafton volunteer and enrolled nurse Dena Hamilton spends her Saturday's at Grafton Redmen Rugby Union Club home games ensuring injured players are well looked after. Photo: Gary Nichols

 

Hamilton admits there are times when her stress levels reach tipping point, but her instincts soon kick in and she immediately brings a caring calmness to the situation at hand.

"Your initial response is to panic, but once you get to the injured player you need to remain calm and positive," she said.

"Obviously the player is under stress so you need to calm them down and help them relax.

"The best thing to do is make sure they're comfortable and tell them the injury is not as bad as they think.

"You have to follow the right protocols and sometimes make quick decisions, be on top of the situation, and make sure they are listening carefully to what you are telling them."

 

EYE-RAISING: Part of the job. Grafton volunteer Dena Hamilton comes across all sorts of injuries including the odd facial laceration as part of her role with the Redmen. Photo: Gary Nichols
EYE-RAISING: Part of the job. Grafton volunteer Dena Hamilton comes across all sorts of injuries including the odd facial laceration as part of her role with the Redmen. Photo: Gary Nichols

 

Injuries are a common occurrence in contact sport, some worse then others. But for Hamilton one injury still sticks in her mind.

"Breaks, usually legs are fairly common," she said.

"I remember one of Ray Collie's boys broke his leg and the bone was poking through, that was a horrendous injury."

Hamilton has become part of the furniture at the Hay Street Rugby Fields and according to the club, they are "blessed to have her passion and expertise" in such an important role.

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR NOMINATION

FOR clocking up a decade of service for the Grafton Redmen, Dena Hamilton has been nominated for the Holly Butcher Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award at the 2020 Clarence Valley Sports Awards.

 

Clarence Valley Sports Awards
Clarence Valley Sports Awards

 

The award is named in honour of the 27-year-old Grafton woman whose courageous final message was read by millions around the world when it was published in the hours after she lost her battle to Ewing's sarcoma in January 2018.

Clarence Valley BMX Club's Marnie Brighton was the inaugural winner of the award in 2018 before Grafton Hockey stalwarts Janet and Rod Gould won the award in 2019.

 

Marnie Brighton: Marnie Brighton acceptance speech for volunteer award
Marnie Brighton: Marnie Brighton acceptance speech for volunteer award

 

Nominations are now open for Volunteer, Club, Team and Coach of the year awards, and close on Friday, October 9.

To nominate simply download a form from the Clarence Valley Sports Awards Facebook page and email to cvsportsawards@gmail.com, or phone 6643 0574 for more details.

Meanwhile, there is just one more junior and senior Sportsperson of the Month winner to be decided, with the last nominations accepted at 5pm on Friday, September 26 and announced online in The Daily Examiner on Wednesday, October 7 and in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday, October 8.

Each monthly winner collects a $50 voucher courtesy of major sponsors Grafton Shoppingworld.

The monthly winners make up the pool of finalists for Senior, Junior Male and Junior Female Sportsperson of the Year and the Masters Sports Award at the Clarence Valley Sports Awards.

Organisers have confirmed the seventh annual event supported by The Daily Examiner, Grafton Shoppingworld and Clarence Valley Council will go ahead as planned at the Grafton District Services Club on Saturday, November 14. Ticket details to be released soon.