Meet local Change Maker, Craig Napper

18 May, 2023Posted in: Community
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Man standing on soccer field, smiling to camera

We would like to introduce you to one of the many enthusiastic and inspiring volunteers in our community, Craig Napper! As an energiser, Craig is constantly finding new ways to share his passion for our community and channel his energy into building enduring collaborations and teaching new skills.

Craig has been formally volunteering since 2016 with Hill Top Soccer Club, where he brings his finance background skills to support the club’s operations. His journey with the club began as a team and pitch photographer and then progressed to roles such as Treasurer, Secretary, and now Registrar. Despite his son no longer playing, Craig has chosen to continue volunteering because he enjoys giving back and recognises the need for quality volunteer help, especially in small villages and towns.

In recognition of his dedication, Craig was made a Life Member of the club in 2020, an honour held by only 14 individuals. This accomplishment speaks to his commitment and contribution to the club over the years. Hill Top Soccer Club celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2021, marking a significant milestone in its history.

One remarkable aspect of the club is the strong sense of community and camaraderie it fosters. Senior players often come back to coach the junior teams, and many parents also volunteer to coach. This family-oriented atmosphere is combined with fierce competition, creating a unique blend of support and determination.

Hill Top Soccer Club welcomes players from all across the Highlands, and the community takes great pride in maintaining the grounds. Working bees are organised to ensure the facilities are well-maintained, and the club has advocated to secure top-quality lighting to enhance the playing experience. Moreover, the club has demonstrated its support for its members in times of need, particularly during the 2019 bushfire season when club members lost their houses or were impacted in other ways. Fundraisers and support were provided to aid in the rebuilding process.

The club’s resilience was evident during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the disruptions, Hill Top Soccer Club managed to keep its operations afloat and continued providing opportunities for children to stay active. This achievement is a testament to the dedication and hard work of volunteers like Craig. Craig is also proud of the club’s effort to recognise the financial barriers that some families may face, providing payment plans and alternative arrangements to make membership and participation more affordable and inclusive. His dedication to removing financial obstacles ensures that all children have the opportunity to be a part of the club and enjoy the benefits of being active in a supportive community.

Apart from his involvement with the club, Craig is also passionate about improving the canteen and change facilities. He recognises the need for grant writing skills to facilitate upgrades in these areas and is actively seeking volunteers who can contribute their expertise. Additionally, the club is constantly on the lookout for new coaches and welcomes day-to-day assistance in various capacities.

When asked for advice, Craig emphasises the importance of passion, an open mind, and a caring and consultative approach. He encourages volunteers to ask questions and fully understand their roles to make meaningful contributions to the community.

We are inspired by Craig’s dedication and his ability to bring people together. His enthusiasm and commitment serve as a reminder of the power of community and the potential for a brighter future when we work together.

If you’re interested in becoming an energiser volunteer like Craig, we encourage you to explore the opportunities available in our community. Whether it’s teaching a new skill, organising a community event, or simply spreading positivity and kindness in your daily life, we can all contribute to creating a stronger, more connected community for all.