West and Faneco honours at Rats end of season awards event

BIG HONOUR: Olivia West with her Ararat Rats life membership award at the club's senior presentation event on Sunday.
BIG HONOUR: Olivia West with her Ararat Rats life membership award at the club's senior presentation event on Sunday.

Ararat Rats announced two new life members at the club’s senior presentation awards event on Friday.

Olivia West and Mick Faneco joined the list of life members of the Ararat Football and Netball Club.

West said it was a big honour to recieve life membership to the Ararat Rats.

“It was a bit of a surprise, I do not think anyone expects to get it,” she said.

“I have always been a pretty loyal person and I think it is the people around during the season that keeps me coming back to the club each year.”

West started playing for the Rats in 2001, slotting into the A Grade team where she stayed for 14 years.

The tenure included 11 grand final appearances and four premierships including a threepeat from 2007-2009.

In 2016 she moved down to B grade as the playing coach and got the team to a grand final but fell short in the season decider.

I would rate her as one of the best centre-wing players we have had at the club.

Donna Spalding

Revenge was sweet in 2017, as the team only lost one game in the regular season and went on to comfortably win the Wimmera Netball Association B Grade title.

Off the court, West was club secretary for eight years and assists in the umpiring duties each week.

Ararat Rats club member Donna Spalding said West has been a loyal club member to the Rats.

“Olivia is always willing to help in anyway she can around the place,” she said.

“I would rate her as one of the best centre-wing players we have had at the club.

“Her determination and netball smarts have made her a much respected play in the Wimmera.”

Mick Faneco with his Ararat Rats life membership award.

Mick Faneco with his Ararat Rats life membership award.

Faneco was also honoured for his involvement in the club across 17 years.

He has spent six years on the committee and been an integral part of the Rats’ off field success.

Faneco has maintained involvement at the club after finishing up in the official capacity in 2006 by doing behind the scenes roles.

The club stalwart has done a lot of volunteer work in recent years at the bar during games or running the barbecue as well as helping out with working bees across the years at Alexandra Oval.

It is a well-deserved honour for West with less than 15 netball life memberships to the club given to members so far.