IT was a clearly emotional Mauro Davanzo who was honoured with a NSW Premier's Award on Tuesday in recognition of his service to the Monaro Panthers.
After choking back tears while accepting his award, Davanzo told The Queanbeyan Age he felt "humbled" to have been recognised in such a way.
"It is emotional," he acknowledged on receiving the award. "It's a lot of work that you put in.
"It's your family life that gets cut short. It's not a Monday to Friday job. It's 4am in the morning, it's 4pm on a Saturday or 3pm on a Sunday afternoon.
You have to do things that are to the detriment of your family. "But once I got involved in the committee it just fed me; it was like a steam train.
And when you've got a vision and a goal that you want to see through."Davanzo has been involved with the Panthers for the past seven years, five of which he has spent as president.
His time at the helm of Monaro has seen the return to the club to the top tier of local football, the ACT Premier League and the introduction of a Panthers side to the Women's Premier League for the first time among other achievements.
Having stepped down as president at the end of last year, Davanzo has remained engaged with the Panthers as the club's men's Premier League coordinator.
And having already done much to rebuild the club off the field, his new role will see Davanzo focused on the one area that has thus far proved a harder nut to crack; success on the pitch.
The Panthers are yet to qualify for the Men's Premier League finals in the four years since the club was readmitted into ACT's top flight competition. A situation Davanzo remains as keen as ever to see addressed.
"Definitely in time we will get back to those wonderful days and get the club back to where it was in the late 80s and early 90s,"Dananzo said.
In other awards presented on the day, Franca Jones was recognised for her service to Queanbeyan Rugby while former Queanbeyan City president George Spaseski and Queanbeyan City Councillor Velice Trajanoski were honoured for their "extraordinary service to local community sport".