Local rowing coach crowned Gold Coast Volunteer of the Year

A ROWING Coach, who has spent his life training and mentoring athletes, has been recognised for his work and contribution to the community.

Reg Free, father of Olympic Gold Medalist Duncan Free, was awarded Gold Coast Volunteer of the Year at local MP Steven Ciobo’s Moncrieff Community Awards on Thursday night.

The Surfers Paradise resident said he was humbled to receive the honour.


“It means a lot to be honoured for the work you do. I never thought about it, you just do it because you love doing it,” he said.

Mr Free coached his sons, Marcus and Duncan, from juniors to the top of the rowing world.

His two boys were just some of the many who received help from the former champion rower as Mr Free established rowing clubs and coached at schools across the Coast.

Mr Free, who also coached netball, said he loved helping young athletes achieve their goals.

“It’s satisfying to see them do something,” he said.

Mr Free was one of 34 volunteers who received an award from Mr Ciobo at his 12th annual Moncrieff Community Awards.

“Each year I’m humbled by the recipients and the contribution they make to our community,” said Mr Ciobo.

“Reg and all the award recipients are our backyard heroes. They give up their time to work to improve the lives of others.

“They are the shinning examples of the character that makes Australia a better country and the Gold Coast a better city.”

Mr Ciobo said there are many selfless volunteers in our community.

“I feel it’s important these backyard heroes are rewarded so it is my privilege to recognise the significant contribution they have made through the Moncrieff Community Awards.”