Danny Buderus has received one of rugby league’s highest individual awards, lifted the NRL premiership trophy and captained club, state and country.
On Thursday night the 2004 Dally M Medal winner added another accolade to his decorated career catalogue, but this time in a broader sporting sense in a place he now calls home.
Buderus, supported by wife Kris and their three children Ella, Lachlan and Jack, was one of 10 people inducted into the Hunter Sporting Hall of Fame at Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club on Thursday night.
“As you get older you really appreciate these individual accolades,” Buderus, who turned 40 in February, said.
“I’ve always been team orientated during my career, but as you retire and look back and your kids join you at these sort of things, it means something.”
Born and bred in Taree, Buderus relocated to the Hunter as a teenager and hasn’t looked back since.
“I’m from the North Coast, but I’ve lived down here for 25 years now, so this is home,” he said.
“I’ve always understood how this town works and the fabric of representing it. I always believed in the town and the team and the symmetry between the two. I’m just glad I was able to represent Newcastle for so many years.”
Buderus joined Paralympic legend Kurt Fearnley and Olympians Benn Harradine and Brendan Sexton in the class of 2018.
“That’s when it really hits home and makes it a proud moment,” he said. “When you see what they’ve done in their careers, they are legends in their field.”
Rounding out this year’s inductees were Matildas representative Lauren Colthorpe, canoe-slalom exponent Ray Baxter and rowing trio Laura Dunn, Tim and Matthew O’Callaghan.
Super Netball player Sam Poolman and Paralympian athlete Erin Cleaver also attended Thursday’s event along Newcastle Harbour as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations for the Hunter Academy of Sport.
2018 HUNTER REGION SPORTING HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES: Benn Harradine (athletics), Brendan Sexton (triathlon), Danny Buderus (rugby league), Kurt Fearnley (marathon), Laura Dunn (rowing), Lauren Colthorpe (football), Matthew O’Callaghan (rowing), Ray Baxter (canoe/slalom), Tim O’Callaghan (rowing), Ty Swadling (trampoline).