NIAS Life Member Terry Psarakis awarded OAM for decades of service to sport

This article originally appeared in the Northern Daily Leader and is shared with permission. 

Article by Zac Lowe.

There are few sports in which Terry Psarakis hasn't been involved over the last few decades. Picture by Peter Hardin.

After almost 60 years, Terry Psarakis knows his time as an active member of the local sporting community is drawing to a close.

But before he ends the longest-running chapter of his life, the veteran sports administrator has been awarded arguably the biggest accolade of his decorated career: an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).

Psarakis received the award for his Services to Sport, and particularly to cricket, in which he has been involved since the age of 10.

Despite his lifetime of service to Tamworth sport, Psarakis “wasn’t expecting it at all” when he received the news.

“It’s very humbling, and I’m very proud at the same time,” he said.

“It wasn’t expected. You don’t do what you do for that at the end, it’s not even in the consideration. But I’m very honoured.”

The 67-year-old’s resume is almost too long to list, but includes such highlights as 30 years as a committee member of Tamworth District Cricket (including a stint as president); time as chairman and vice chairman of Northern Inland Cricket Council and Central North Cricket respectively; Country Cricket NSW deputy chairman; Northern Inland Academy of Sport life membership; and life membership of South Tamworth Cricket Club after 35 years on the committee.

Psarakis also represented many of the aforementioned organisations as a player, and has served on the Tamworth District Soccer, Northern Inland Football, and Group 4 Rugby League boards.

Initially, Psarakis began his journey in administration because “I thought I could make a change”.

“There was no real ambition or anything like that,” he said.

“It was more to help out … I just want to see people playing sport and having the opportunities. That’s been the driving force.”

He has “enjoyed every minute” of his time as a player and administrator, but admitted that he is “getting towards the end”.

“I turned 67 in November, so I’m getting to the end of my administration,” Psarakis said.

“I’ve played and been an administrator since I was 10 years old. I’ve put a fair bit of time in it, and it’s given me a lot too.”

He acknowledged the importance of his wife, Karen, and their children, Natalie and James, in supporting his myriad roles over the years, and said he “wouldn’t have been able to do it without the family”.

And though he will cut back on his commitments in the coming seasons, Psarakis doesn’t intend to remove himself from the sporting community entirely.

He hopes to remain a part of the Wests Entertainment Group board, which he is “enjoying”, and has plans for the many pieces of sporting memorabilia he has accrued over the course of his life.

“Karen and I have started to go through what I’ve got at home and at work,” Psarakis said.

“That’s probably my aim for the future, is to do something with the sporting memorabilia that I’ve got. I’d like to set it up somewhere where people get the chance to look at it.”