It’s the work that Newport Rams’ secretary Paul Walshe puts in behind the scenes that makes his selection as the Baseball Victoria volunteer-of-the year a no-brainer.
No job is too big or small for Walshe, who devotes hours of his week to ensure the Rams run like a division one club.
Over and above his role as the Rams secretary, Walshe can take on numerous titles from groundsman, council liaison, equipment manager and sponsorship manager.
Rams’ president Ben Portelli knows the side would be worse off without Walshe.
“He’s just brilliant,” Portelli said. “He does all the jobs that no one knows need to be done.”
Walshe’s passion for Newport Rams comes from his dad, who was club president when Walshe was growing up.
Walshe did have some time away from KC White Reserve as a player, but he was always going to return.
“He loves this club,” Portelli said. “He had some time away and, since he’s come back, he’s just immersed himself in the place.
“If he’s not working at the club, he’s thinking about the club; if he’s not thinking about the club, he’s not far away.”
Walshe has even opened his doors for Newport Rams imports. This season, the league’s most valuable player, Jimmy Jensen, stayed with Walshe all season.
“Sight unseen, he said he could stay at his house, and he fed him, he looked after him, he was dad, he was brother, he was everything,” Portelli said.
“He was Jimmy’s support network.”
The Rams’ relationship with local council and Baseball Victoria is also strong, in part due to Walshe’s ability to engage with those organisations.
“We were talking about what it takes to be a model club, and we were told that we are a model club, and that’s through Paul’s work,” Portelli said.
“We have a fantastic working relationship with the council at all levels, and his functional relationships are second to none.
“I’ve seen it first hand; I haven’t had to do much, the relationship he’s got with sports and recreation is second to none.”
The reward for Walshe at the end of the week is seeing Newport Rams thrive.
Walshe gets to sit back for three hours on weekends and watch his two sons give their all to the Rams in a playing sense.
“The fact that his two sons are playing, and playing at a high level with the club, just fills him with pride,” Portelli said.
See the original Story by LANCE JENKINSON