St Kilda City matriarch Marja Gamlin has been honoured for her decades of service to the club by taking out the prestigious 2017 SFNL Women’s Achievement Award.
Gamlin, the mother of current club President Rod Gamlin, unfortunately could not attend the Women of the South cocktail event on Friday night to accept the accolade, but was presented with the ornate glass trophy at the Peanut Farm pavilion the following day.
And the St Kilda City stalwart was overwhelmed to receive her award.
“I’m very pleased with what I’ve received. I can get a bit emotional, but I just want to say thank you to everybody at the Southern Footy League for (recognising) all I have done over the last 30 years,” Marja said on SFNL TV.
“I am a bit lost for words, but I accept it with honour.
“I do appreciate this beautiful gift and I will treasure it forever.”
For the last three decades, Marja has been an integral part of the club. She has served on the committee for nearly 25 years, run meat tray raffles at sponsor venues for 20 years and spent a decade running the canteen, as well as helping cook player meals on Thursday nights, washing player jumpers and cleaning the club rooms.
Marja has also run the club BBQ for the last 20 years where she has become renowned for her famous burgers, which are among the best in the SFNL – just ask David Hampton.
But most importantly, Marja has been a second mother to many of the players that have come through the club over the years, and it’s this family connection that keeps her going.
“It’s family… we’re one big family here and that’s why I stay, because I care about everybody here. I care about the club very much,” Marja said.
“Rodney started here when he was nine years old, he is now 49 this year, and he is an absolute legend in my life too.
“And I’ve got grandchildren and another son, Matthew, who played here too, so it’s all part of the family.
“I’ve made a lot of friends here, even from our local community here, they all come for my burgers and sausages and the coffee. But they’re all one big family to me and I appreciate everybody that comes down here and looks after us too.”
And there are no signs of slowing down for the 69-year-old, who says she loves what she does week in, week out.