CAMERON Pilley was named 2012 Clarence Valley Ambassador in a special ceremony in Yamba yesterday.
Cameron follows on from Clarence Valley's first ambassador Golden Guitar winner Troy Cassar-Daley.
Currently ranked as Australia's number one in men's squash and number 19 in the world, Cameron returned to his home town of Yamba to receive the award from Mayor Richie Williamson in a ceremony surrounded by family and friends.
"The honour of the Ambassador for the Clarence Valley is an annual recognition of those that have gone on to excel in their chosen fields. Cameron is certainly an example of this and a fitting recipient of this honour," said Cr Williamson.
"The Clarence Valley has a rich history of sporting greats that have gained recognition on the world stage and Cameron is no exception.
"In such a fast-paced sport there is no substitute for the dedication and hard work that he has obviously put in."
As Ambassador, Cameron will continue to raise the profile of the Clarence Valley through his continuing sporting endeavours and extensive travels.
"I am proud to call Yamba home and I am honoured in receiving the title of local Ambassador for the Clarence," Cameron said.
"Although I am now based at The Hague in the Netherlands, each individual on the squash circuit has their own story and background and I can definitely say mine was written in the Clarence Valley.
"I'm a big believer in not forgetting where you came from."
Cameron's mum Sue Pilley said she was proud to see her son recognised in his home town.
"I think it's wonderful," Ms Pilley said. "He has a good life overseas but I think he really misses Yamba. He loves coming home and wandering around the beaches and getting in the ocean again."
Raised by parents with a love of the sport, it was no surprise when at the tender age of two Cameron started hitting a ball.
Cameron's father Steven undertook the coaching role from then until he left for the AIS in Brisbane on a fulltime scholarship.
Between then and now there have been countless coaches, hours on the court, litres of sweat, hundreds of connecting flights and scores of supporting friends and family which have all played their part in Cameron winning 13 professional tournaments, becoming Australia's No.1 male squash player.
It is this dedication and achievement which has led Cameron to be awarded the 2012 Clarence Valley Ambassador as part of the upcoming Local Government Week.
Although Cameron cannot attend Local Government Week due to his participation in the Australian Open in Canberra, a short video representation will be played as part of the "Living Sustainability Awards" ceremony to be held at the Grafton Chambers at 10am Monday, August 13.