BY CHRIS BOULOUS
FIVE years ago Cabramatta West resident Valarie Uilou came to struggling Canley Vale Junior Rugby League club with 10 goals to achieve.
On Monday night, she ticked the final box.
The Kookas were awarded the Telstra One Community Grassroots Club of the Year.
This makes them the no.1 junior rugby league club in Australia.
"It is amazing. No words can describe the feeling," Ms Uilou said.
"A lot of hard work has gone into this award from a lot of people and it is recognition of a lot of hard work."
The Kookas were recognised for their many community programs and selfless acts in the community - including $5 from each child and official's registration fees to children's short term carer Stewart House.
The club will receive $4000 in cash and rugby league equipment for winning the national award.
Club president Albert Strohmayer was under no illusion why the club had gone from the brink of oblivion to a thriving club where kids enjoy playing footy.
"It is all Valarie - her passion and drive is what makes this club," he said.
"Without her and sponsors like Richards on the Park, who knows where will be. It is a great recognition for a club that will celebrate its 50th year next year."
Kookas' dream run
* Parramatta District Volunteer of the Year Award
* Parramatta District junior rugby league club of the year
* Parramatta District junior rugby league club's club of the year
* Women In League Round award for the best grassroots activity
* Barefoot Rugby League Show junior club of the year
* Telstra One Community Grassroots Club of the Year