BEING named Bendigo’s Citizen of the Year is not something many would expect as a birthday present.

But, for Andrew Reid, who yesterday turned 44, his volunteer work in the Eaglehawk community over the past 20 years gave him just that.

“To be named Citizen of the Year for Bendigo, it’s tremendous that it’s been recognised,” he said.

“I’m still getting my head around it to be honest.”

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A self described “borough boy through and through”, Mr Reid has been a member of the Eaglehawk Football and Netball Club for 30 years, playing and coaching before moving to

As part of this committee work he was part of an effort to involve the club more in the community, by overlapping some of their resources to benefit all.

“I just see this as recognition for us taking a step, being a bit of a leader in the community and being able to use the resources, especially with the youth facilities we’ve got out there, to service the community,” Mr Reid said.

Mr Reid is also a member of the Eaglehawk Development Group, leading him to support organisations such as Empowering Eaglehawk, Eaglehawk YMCA and Rotary Club of Eaglehawk.

Bettering men’s health and utilising sport to boost mental health outcomes has also been a focus of Mr Reid’s work, developing a 12-week program with Bendigo Regional YMCA specifically aimed towards Eaglehawk men.

“Everyone got a benefit, the YMCA ended up catering for those blokes in the gym and a lot of them kept doing it,” he said.

He said there have been terrific results from the program.

“There’s still blokes doing, three or four blokes getting together each week and doing their exercise still.”

This year Mr Reid hopes he can spread his message through his role.

“I would like just people to know it’s one of those things with volunteer work, if nobody did it we’d be buggered, but if everybody did a little bit it would be much easier,” he said.

“If I can just show people, people like me, just doing little bits and pieces, the difference it does make.

“Hopefully if I can spread that message… it’d be good.”