Country sport is not all about the players’ feats on the field with the countless hours of passionate club people just as important to getting the show on the road.
Few off the field are more legendary than East Gambier’s Andrew “Scooter” Robinson (pictured), who is ready to make an anticipated return to his beloved role in the 2021 Western Border Football League season.
Scooter is one of the most unmistakable figures at The Kennel and has been around the club his entire life.
After a short-lived playing career, Robinson found his niche as a waterboy and has delivered the drinks in 570 senior WBFL games for the Bulldogs since 1991.
But sadly, two knee replacements forced Scooter to hand over the A and B Grade waterboy duties and watch from the sidelines since 2009.
However, the determined character did not let the injury setbacks get him down.
With the help of a huge team including Maria and Sam Gibbs, Robert Dickinson, Sam Ferguson, Kristy Berrier, Scott Climas, Neville Porter, Aaron Davis, Malcom Lockwood, Nathan Stratford, Travis Younghusband, Gary Lazarus, Derek and Gael Ferguson, Kev Thomson and Miroma Cottage, Scooter has transformed his life to end the 12-year hiatus.
In just eight months, Robinson has lost 25kg and seven inches around his waist and feels better than ever.
He said it had been a tough journey restructuring his lifestyle, but well worth it.
“It has been a pretty heavy workload and not been easy, but I was supported by great friends like Maria,” Robinson said.
“She has been a huge part, teaching me how to cook things other than a barbecue like apricot chicken, spaghetti bolognese and tuna mornay.
“She just got me to eat more salads and vegetables and less chips and gravy and soft drink, while I have also done lots of walking.”
To be in a position to return to the football field is a big deal for Scooter, who knows everything and everyone at The Kennel.
Robinson passionately supports every East team each Saturday and also never misses a training session.
His passion for the Bulldogs runs so deep he moved into a house nearby McDonald Park recently.
During his break from being the waterboy, Robinson has performed roles around the club such as assistant coach and statsman, while he has also helped at interleague level.
Scooter claims his Bulldogs connection started when the 46-year-old was just 1 year old.
“When I was 12 months old I nearly played in the 1975 flag,” he said.
“My family parked next to Gary Lazarus, who said keep fit mate because we might need you in the last quarter.
“I played a few Under 18 games and a senior trial game against Kongorong in 2000.
“I played in the forward pocket as a team player setting up lots of goals.”
Over the years, Robinson said he had become deeply attached to East and loves the environment each season.
“The club means a lot and your mates become family,” he said.
“It is very special and I will never leave this place.
“I love every East team because they wear the jumper and I just like to feel part of the club because it is all about winning premierships.”
With the 2021 WBFL season just a month away, Scooter can hardly contain his excitement.
After months of hard work, Robinson said he was jumping out of his skin to get back on the field and support the Bulldogs.
“Bloody oath I have missed it,” he said.
“I wanted to keep doing it (being the waterboy) but my knee was too bad.
“Now I am feeling great and the knee is sensational.
“Bring on footy season.”