Nominees Announced for 2017 Volunteer of the Year Award

Townsville Junior Touch Football (TJT) is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2017 Volunteer of the Year award.

The sport of touch football is run, in no small part, thanks to the tireless efforts of our many volunteers, who freely give up their time to make sure our children have the chance to play an exciting, fun, and safe team sport.

It's because of the efforts of these dedicated individuals, that the sport is so well managed at a local, grass-roots level.

To celebrate and recognise the contribution made by our volunteers, Townsville Junior Touch Football this year asked each club to nominate one highly valued individual to be considered for the 2017 TJT Volunteer of the Year award.

The seven club nominees, joined by an additional nominee submitted by the TJT Executive, are in consideration for the annual award, which will be announced on Friday December 1, 2017, at the Grand Final presentations.

Townsville Junior Touch Football acknowledges the work of all volunteers, but would like to give special mention to the following eight individuals who have been nominated by their peers for the 2017 TJT Volunteer of the Year award.

David Argent - nominated by Redskins Touch Club

Dave has been the President for many years and over the past two years has become more involved in Junior Touch. This is probably due to his marriage to the very lovely Mel and his interests changing with Macie now on the scene. That aside, his involvement in Townsville Junior Touch, NQ Touch Carnival and Redskins comes from a love of the game and a desire to see children playing touch. His dedication does not waiver even though at times he has to travel for work, managing a new formed small business and the challenges of a blended family. There are not too many of us that haven’t received his after midnight emails as he juggles his work, family life and touch duties.

You often find in clubs that people are either coaches or administrators but Dave for us is both. Coaching two sides and assisting to run the Townsville’s largest Touch Club is not easy. Dealing with sponsors, parents and coaches can be at times a challenging and lonely road.

Over the past couple of years as well as assisting to run Redskins, Dave has assumed the role of Referee co-ordinator and when the refs don’t show he will either do the game himself or organise for someone to do it for him at the last minute and more often than not he can find someone. There are not too many people within Redskins that can turn away a request from Dave. He just has that sort of nature and we all know that if we don’t help he will do it himself and we all recognise that he already does a lot.

One of our challenges this year has been our growth now whilst that can sometimes be welcome it does come with a number of challenges. The two most important to us supply of referees and where to find coaches. Redskins endeavours to ensure that our players are receiving the benefits of having coaches that know the game and have the ability to ensure our players are having the best opportunity to learn the game. Ensuring suitably qualified coaches can also be a challenge with so many teams but somehow he just knows how to find them.

This year we have had a number of new Referees, Dave makes sure that they are in games suitable to their skill level and makes an effort to walk around the fields and watch their games. Together with talking to parents and the Refs he may but them into a boy’s game or a faster paced games. It’s always a challenge when at one time slot you have to allocate a large number of referees but again he just gets on with.

We acknowledge that we cannot please everyone, but I know that Dave will do his utmost to try to have everyone who registers an interested in playing in a team, even though he has been told many times just to say no. This is not because of a desire to be the biggest club Dave by his very nature just tries to help.

There are not too many nights he is not at the fields and even on the nights he can leave early he is still there ensuring that everyone is ok and that everything is running smoothly.

The Redskins committee could think of no other candidate more worthy than Dave Argent.

- Tracey Lew, on behalf of Redskins Touch Club


Michelle Edmonds - nominated by Rum Runners Touch Club

For Rum Runners, the decision about who to nominate for this award is easy – Michelle Edmonds.

Michelle is always the first person to put her hand up whenever something needs to be done, and she never asks for anything in return.She works tireless to ensure our club remains a strong force in the junior competitions. With a recent record of 25 teams, she has her work cut-out for her,but she does it willingly, and always with a smile.

Looking after our juniors is such a big task and, even though Michelle’s two children only play on Thursday nights, she is still down there every Friday to make sure all our juniors teams, players, referees, coaches,and parents are okay. Michelle gives up so much of her own time to organise every aspect of juniors for our club and every week goes above and beyond to help, not just our club, but any club in need.

We are so fortunate to have Michelle as a member of our club and are extremely grateful for the time, effort, and dedication that she has put into the roles she has undertaken. Without a doubt, Rum Runners wouldn’t be the club we are today without everything that Michelle provides. She is passionate about her role, about the club, and most importantly about doing what’s right for our sport, so that we have a strong future for tomorrow’s touch football stars.

We hope that in some small way this nomination will provide our thanks to Michelle for everything she has done, and continues to do, for our club, and the sport of touch football.

- Stacey Pringle, on behalf of Rum Runners Touch Club


Renee Flach - nominated by Jots Tigers Touch Club

Jots Tigers Touch Club is in a re-building phase. Part of our long term strategy is to increase our junior player base. As a small club, we rely heavily on a core group of members, including Renee, to implement our strategy.

Renee is committed to the sport of touch football, not only as a player, but also as a high level referee, and was rewarded for her efforts by being named the joint winner of the JTs Referee of the Year Award for 2017.

Despite her busy work, family and sporting commitments, Renee readily volunteered to coordinate our junior teams again this year. This involved:

  • advertising for players;
  • forming and registering three teams;
  • recruiting coaches and managers (some of whom were first time coaches and managers and relied on Renee’s experience, advice and guidance as much as the players);
  • collecting fees;
  • organising uniforms and training resources; and
  • basically whatever was required to enable us to field three new teams.

On a number of occasions when the other coaches were unavailable, Renee even coached all three teams on her own. At the end of the season, Renee organised a break up and trophy presentation for all the players.

We’re only a small club but Renee’s contribution to the development of our juniors cannot be overstated. Renee:

  • is a role model for players, referees and coaches in both the senior and junior competitions;
  • is always available to assist;
  • acts in the best interests of the sport, our club and the association;
  • voluntarily contributes personal time and effort for the benefit of the club;
  • always displays a positive attitude;
  • willingly teaches and helps others to improve their skills and knowledge;
  • has an enthusiastic attitude and encourages team spirit; and
  • is committed to the ongoing development and success of our club.

On behalf of the Jots Tigers Touch Club I am very pleased to nominate Renee Flach for the 2017 Volunteer of the Year award.

- Rhonda Vetter, on behalf of Jots-Tigers Touch Club


Marcus Muller - nominated by Brothers Touch Club

Marcus Muller has come on board the Brothers Touch Committee this year in the role of Referee's Director. Marcus has volunteered many hours in allocating referees to the Thursday & Friday night timeslots. Marcus has been a huge asset to our club this junior season and I'm sure without his help we would've been hearing our club's name paged over the intercom chasing "missing" referees. I am extremely happy to say that this has been very minimal due to Marcus's efforts.

Marcus has also recruited a phenomenal amount of Level 1 children within our club which will help further develop our club’s future. Marcus works with these children each week in developing their skill level and their confidence.

You can often see Marcus every Thursday and Friday night refereeing several games; actually you will probably hear him before you see him. He is always the first to offer support or help whenever needed.

Marcus was also instrumental in organising our club’s referees at the recent NO Junior Championships, he shuffled allocations and refereed additional games to make sure our club was not penalised in any way, due to the strict conditions of entry by NQ Touch.

On behalf of the Brothers Touch Club Committee we'd like to put forward Marcus Muller's nomination for consideration as 2017 Townsville Junior Touch Volunteer of the Year.

- Sheralee Pugh, on behalf of Brothers Touch Club


Cherrie Pierce - nominated by Sharks Touch Club

If anyone satisfies the criteria for this award, it’s Cherrie Pierce.

Cherrie is essentially the ‘face’ of Sharks Touch; and is both well known, and widely respected, by all in the Townsville Touch Community. She is the “go-to” person whenever anything needs to be done – and she approaches all tasks with a smile and a “can-do” attitude. Aside of her club duties, Cherrie has sat on the Townsville Touch Footaball (TTF) Judiciary, assisted with TJT administration tasks, and is often called on to assist with the coordination of junior referees between clubs.

‘Officially’ the Sharks Treasurer, Cherrie basically fulfils the role of club Secretary and Registrar as well. She coordinated the running of the canteen for the TTF Ca$h Comp after a last minute call-up; was the club delegate and referee coordinator for Sharks junior teams at the NQ Jnr Champs; is currently one of our junior club delegates, and is the referee coordinator for our club in the current TJT season. In addition to this she has also gained her accreditation as a referee, and can be seen running around Queens Park on a Thursday/Friday night, filling in where other junior referees may not be available. It’s pertinent to note that she has also undertaken this role for other clubs.

Cherrie was one of the organisers of the historical tour to New Zealand by Sharks junior teams earlier this year; providing a development platform for our club’s juniors the envy of all; and has been instrumental in the development pathway Sharks have focused on for our junior girls over the preceding 12-18 months. Cherrie is an advocate for overall junior development, and has been instrumental in the growth of Shark’s junior team numbers, that has seen an increase of 30% in our junior teams this season.

Although the incumbent (& inaugural) winner for this award last season, it’d be a tough argument to suggest that Cherrie doesn’t deserve to win it again in 2017!

- Peter Shefford, on behalf of Sharks Touch Club


Leigh Preston - nominated by Frogs Touch Club

Through the time and effort that Leigh has selflessly provided to the Frogs Junior Touch, it has resulted in her becoming an extremely valuable and key figure within the club and the Townsville Junior Touch competition. Her strong personal and professional work ethic holds her in high regard within the broader junior touch community as well as within our club.

Her continued and consistent demonstration of her strong passion and dedication to the youth and junior touch football has seen our juniors grow and develop into young ambassadors for the game within the junior competition and representational areas.

During the 2017 junior touch season, Leigh has readily taken on the coaching duties of two junior teams in the U10 and U11 Girls divisions. She has fulfilled this role with her usual enthusiasm and full commitment. Her ability to pass on her experience to develop our junior players while providing a fun and friendly environment has resulted in her players returning each year and actively seeking her out as their coach.

In addition to her coaching responsibilities, Leigh has also been fulfilling the demanding role of the Frogs Club Secretary. She has solely managed the registrar role to coordinate the entire 21 junior club teams in the current junior competition. At the commencement of the season, Leigh worked tirelessly to source coaches and coordinate teams to ensure that the junior players were provided every reasonable opportunity to participate in the game.

Leigh has performed the role of the club Secretary and has been largely responsible for the smooth functioning of the Frogs club throughout the season. In addition to her numerous duties and responsibilities, she has also coordinated the purchase and distribution of club uniforms. Leigh has also provided further dedication and time to attend TJT Committee meetings as the club Delegate and has been a professional representative of the Frogs Touch Club.

Leigh was instrumental in the establishment of a minor sub-committee to coordinate and encourage maximum club team participation in the NQ Junior State Championship to assist in the on-going development of our junior players and the game.

Leigh possesses and applies a high standard of sportsmanship and is an excellent role model and mentor for our junior players, coaches, parents and club members alike.

Leigh is very proactive to promote the sport of touch football and our club and demonstrates a dedicated and professional approach to complete all tasks and readily accepts any additional tasks that may eventuate. Her dedication to junior touch football has been not only demonstrated during 2017 but she has been a consistent and influential figure within the junior sector for numerous years.

She is a truly amazing individual that readily devotes her time to always go above and beyond!

- Sandie Wilson, on behalf of Frogs Touch Club


Sheralee Pugh - nominated by TJT Executive

There are always a few particular names that come to mind when we discuss those people in our sport that we cannot do without. Every club has at least one; it’s that person who drives the club, and who takes on jobs other than what their “elected” position would normally require. It’s these people that keep our sport running, but more important than that, they make our community something that everyone wants to be a part of. The sad part of that is these people, who deserve the recognition for what they do for their clubs, can’t nominate themselves; and if you were to ask them, most would be too humbled to think they deserve it in the first place.

Looking at the seven nominations received from the clubs, it was clear that there was one person missing that we felt needed to be recognised for the effort that they make to support Townsville Junior Touch Football (TJT) as an organisation. For the TJT Executive Committee, that person is Sheralee Pugh.

From start to finish every Thursday and Friday night, Sheralee is there to help. She gives up her time without complaint, and is willing to help whenever needed. While it might go unnoticed by most, the work that Sheralee does before, during, and after games is something that cannot possibly be rewarded by a simple thank-you. When she isn’t coaching or managing one of her club’s 28 teams, she’s helping parents find their way, new referees take their first steps, as well as countless other things that we don’t see, but are thankful for nonetheless.

You won’t see it because you’re already on your way home after the night’s games have finished, but Sheralee can still be found at Queens Park, helping pack away chairs, cleaning up rubbish, or helping out wherever she can. She does it without being asked, without reward or payment, and always with a smile on her face; even after having spent the whole night on her feet, with barely a moment to sit down.

We can’t thank Sheralee enough for the time and effort that she has put into our sport over the years, but we hope this nomination will go at least part of the way towards expressing our gratitude for her commitment and dedication to both TJT, and the sport in general.

We are more than happy to submit Sheralee as the TJT nominee for this year’s award, and think that she’s in great company with the seven other dedicated club members who have been nominated alongside her.

- Kerrod Hall, on behalf of the TJT Executive


Denise Weier - nominated by Crocs Touch Club

Denise is our vote for not only Crocs but, if we could, for TJT as a whole!

For our club, she is the most public face we have, being down at the games from start to finish each-and-every night. She is active and passionate about the sport as a whole, but especially about the referee’s role in our game. Her passion is undeniable and she promotes a great culture in our club and at all other levels.

She is a great role model for young players and referees, expecting the best from everyone and developing anyone looking to further themselves.

She will put her hand up to assist in any task we have within the club and does the un-enviable job of referee allocations. She promotes our club, and the sport in general, in all of her day-to-day interactions. She is an ambassador for the sport and the role of our officials in all sports (not just touch).

You will see her coaching referees, helping train teams when coaches are away, manning the TJT canteen or BBQ, and fundraising for our club and referees.

She does all she can to improve and build the sport and instil a healthy culture. Crocs appreciate all she does & I’m sure we aren’t the only ones.

- Allison Bessell, on behalf of Crocs Touch Club


Congratulations to all nominees, and thank-you for all of your hard work and tireless dedication to our sport.