Stalwart drives game’s growth

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Steve was inducted into the South West Soccer Association Hall of Fame in 2018.
Camera IconSteve was inducted into the South West Soccer Association Hall of Fame in 2018. Credit: Supplied

Balingup’s Steve Hawkins has been a driving force in local football over 15 years, since moving to the town in 2000.

Before moving, Steve estimates that he played nearly 800 games of football for Armadale SC, playing into his mid 30s.

He was responsible for starting Balingup Soccer Club in 2002, which competed in the Lower South West Soccer League for a season, before changing the club’s name to Blackwood United FC and joining the South West Soccer Association in 2004.

Hawkins said the move was aimed at aligning the club with the winter season and was part of the natural growth of the club.

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“I just felt that we could be more aligned with the sport itself in the winter and more things could come from that,” he said.

Hawkins retired from playing football last season, having been a part of Blackwood United’s first South West League title in 2017.

His contribution was not limited to the local level, having served as a Football West zone representative and helping to found Football Federation South West.

“I’ve always been passionate about our game being united,” he said.

“I wanted to get involved in trying to unite all the different associations, so that we could have that unity and maximise any funding or progression with the sport.”

Hawkins’ contribution to the game has been recognised by his induction into the Football Hall of Fame WA in 2016 and his induction into the South West Soccer Association Hall of Fame in 2018, as well as being made a life member of both Armadale SC and Blackwood United.

“I was surprised, but not surprised, because I’m well aware of the amount of time and effort and passion that I put into the game I suppose,” he said.

“I feel like there are people like me in most clubs, and that’s all sports, that are passionate and drive the club. It’s good that they recognise people like that rather than just that one player who might play half a dozen games for Australia, but give nothing else back to the game.”

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