Good sport is Fairfield Citizen of the Year

HORSLEY Park's Sam Salemi has been rewarded for his contribution to the sport of fencing.

He was named Fairfield Council's Citizen of the Year during an awards ceremony in Bonnyrigg last Thursday.

After being approached by Club Marconi to make fencing available for young adults and adults at the venue, he was instrumental in the success of the sport reaching state and international level.

The 62-year-old said he was honoured to receive the award.

"I am extremely surprised and humble at the same time. I never expected it," he said.

"It's good to give back to the community but it's more for the kids.

"We raised money for Fairfield Hospital but we did it in a team — you can only do it with people around you and I've been fortunate to have good people around me."

But it is not the first time Mr Salemi has been recognised for contributing to the sport.

He received an award for spending five years as a volunteer coach, an award for spending over 10 years as a PCYC volunteer and an award for his role as the bulletin editor at the Fairfield Lions Club.

"It's wonderful to be recognised but I do it for the satisfaction and seeing children get the best in life and achieving what they can — not by being the best but by doing their best," Mr Salemi said.

A Fairfield Council spokesman said he has been a power of strength to Fairfield Lions Club — spending years organising the Magic Show for the handicapped children of Fairfield.

"He's also been a helper in organising a charity for Fairfield Public Hospital," he said.

Mr Salemi has been a long-standing committee member of the Fairfield-Cabramatta PCYC. He also helps Canley Vale High School students with mock interviews to help them get jobs.

He came to Australia from Italy in 1954 when he was 2. He became an Australian citizen in 1967 and he married in 1978 and moved to the Cabramatta area where he lived for over 30 years.

A council spokesman said when Mr Salemi's children were young he enrolled them into Little Athletics and would help coach not only his own children but other children as well.

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