Former teacher becomes Citizen of the Year in Kyogle
LARRY Condon, of Kyogle Shire, simply didn't believe it when his name was announced as Kyogle Citizen of the Year On Australia Day.
The former teacher at The Risk Public School said, "I turned around looking around for who I could congratulate. The nominees were so strong. I thought there is no way it could be me," he said.
Larry Condon was awarded the honour for his services to youth sport.
Since moving to Kyogle in 1982, Mr Condon has thrown himself into junior coaching. He has been coaching junior soccer in Kyogle for 25 years and training young athletes since the mid-90s.
Mr Condon is clearly the reason why Kyogle youth punch above their weight in the sporting arena. This year Mr Condon took a group of seven Kyogle youth athletes to state championships to compete in 14 different events. They came back with a swag of medals.
Mr Condon said the secret to his success as coach is inspiring commitment.
"Kids have got to enjoy themselves, somehow I get them to commit to training and sport, I spend a lot of time building their confidence to achieve their personal best.
"I also give them the confidence to accept not winning," he said.
Mr Condon does not charge for his dedicated coaching services.
"Kyogle is not a wealthy area, but it's rich in people and rich in talent. Many of the kids I coach may not be able to afford it so I do it for free.
"I played sport for many years - as a middle distance runner and rugby league player - and I had extremely good coaches who were good people too. What I do is about paying back the debt I owe them," he said.