Meet the Nominees - 2018 Joanne Sale Award for Volunteer of the Year

Townsville Junior Touch Football (TJT) is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2018 Joanne Sale Award for Volunteer of the Year.

Our sport 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 our 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 asked each club to nominate one highly valued individual to be considered for the recently dedicated Joanne Sale Award for Volunteer of the Year. The nominees are in consideration for the annual award, named in honour of one of our most dedicated volunteers, which will be announced on Friday December 7, 2018, 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 individuals who have been nominated by their peers for the 2018 Joanne Sale Award for Volunteer of the Year.


Alison Twiname

Alison has worked tirelessly during the 2018 Junior Touch season for Brothers Touch Club.  Alison's original role was to coach both the Brothers Girls 14 and Girls 16 teams to help further strengthen and develop their senior women's teams. Alison recognised at an early stage the need for the club to have a Coaching Director was paramount. She now managers all Brothers Coaches by holding several "Coach the Coaches" sessions on Wednesday nights at Ignatius Park College.  This is an hour long session for our Coaches to ask questions and seek advice on what drills to teach and how best to implement them into their game.

Alison has also managed to secure both her son and daughter into helping coach junior teams.  Sam coaches Boys 8 while Lily coaches Girls 7 under Alison's watchful eye. Alison is then seen wandering around offering advice and answering questions to all Brothers coaches over the Thursday/Friday night fixtures.

Without Alison's knowledge, time, and passion, Brothers strongly believe their club would not be what it is today.



Allison Bessell

Allison has been with Crocs Touch Football club for around 15 odd years. She works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that the club is up-to-date with registrations, payments, uniforms, etc., and assists and encourages coaches and players to always have a go and, where she can, pushes them increase their skills and knowledge for the game. She will fill-in for coaches where needed, assist parents with uniform orders, organise end of season functions, send club emails to parents and members, attend meetings, order and design uniforms, and the list goes on.

Allison has had many roles within the club and without her, Crocs may not be here today. She gives up many hours of her own time to improve the club. The club has increased the number of junior teams from 4 to 17, with Allison being a significant reason to this. Recently, she has assisted the Townsville City Council with the impending upgrade of the training fields in Heatley.

Allison has also not only been behind the scenes for the club, but also at the forefront. She continues to play touch and has represented Queensland in the Women's 30 division at 2014 State of Origin, as well as NQ at the National Touch League and Townsville in the North Queensland Championships.

Crocs is the club it is today due to Allison. Her passion and commitment to the sport is above and beyond and it is for that reason they saw fit to nominate her for 2018 Volunteer of The Year award.



Bobbie McMinn

Bobbie is a highly valued, hardworking and very contentious volunteer for Frogs Touch Club. She has been involved with the club's junior base since her eldest boy, Zac McMinn, commenced with the club in the U7s division (he is now too old to play in the junior competition). She has been part of the junior committee/coaching staff for the last twelve years. Since commencing with the junior club she has always held multiple roles, i.e. coaching, refereeing, or part of the junior committee.

Bobbie currently coaches two teams and mentors a further two boys and one girls team in the 2018 junior competition. She also volunteers as a referee when the club has difficulties in fielding referees, and often steps in at the last moment. She has also taken on representative coaching duties.

Bobbie has also taken on the role of the Frogs Touch Club assistant junior registrar this season, and has assisted the club's registrar and junior coordinator (Leigh Preston) greatly in ensuring that all players are correctly registered and that they are allocated to a team or teams. She also actively assists in the collection of fees as well as the distribution and collection of money for the purchase of uniforms to assist the club, ensuring that all players are correctly attired. She also takes on the role as club official/delegate on a Thursday or Friday night when needed and fills this role competently – this is not an easy role especially when dealing with parents and supporters.

The following attributes are displayed by Bobbie making her a reliable and highly valued member of both the Frogs Touch Club executive, TJT community, and the player/parent base.

Integrity – she listens, absorbs, asks questions and asks again – carries out the duties of the junior registrar admirably and is not afraid to ask if not certain. She has been an invaluable support to the Junior Registrar. Things get done correctly the first time, which means that duties and tasks are only being completed once. She is very honest and open with her abilities in this area and is guided by her core values of honesty, trust, being part of a well organised team and her enthusiastic and can do approach. Nothing is too much.

Sportsmanship – she shows a great deal of respect for both players, parents and club officials. She is able to listen, take on-board and disseminate information and is then able to act on that information impartially and correctly. She is more than capable of dealing with difficult situations, especially when parents are involved. She has the ability to work through a situation, ask for assistance if need be, and work towards the best outcome for all concerned. She believes in getting the right outcome even if that outcome doesn't match the expectations of the coach, parent, supporters etc.

Loyalty – she is a great club member having played, coached and refereed for Frogs for a number of years. She has bought her senior experience and skills into the junior club which has assisted the club to build on their junior base and to go from strength to strength. A number of the club's senior men's players (including A grade players) have been coached and mentored by Bobbie and they still seek her out and ask for advice and guidance on a regular basis. She is an integral part of the Frogs club and has played a huge part in the their junior success, as well as providing a strong basis for the senior club.

Team player – she is an asset to have as part of the executive team and TJT community. Even for someone who has so much on her plate outside of touch, she is able to bring to the table fresh and innovative ideas, is able to bring out the best in the team by going about her business effectively, and is able to complete tasks correctly and on-time. Importantly, she also brings fun, laughter, and friendship into the team, and is committed to getting things done. She regularly assists by offering to help at BBQ's, selling raffle tickets. etc. Nothing is ever too much.

Bobbie is a dedicated and self-motivated individual which, coupled with her enthusiasm and commitment, has a positive effect on the club, community, and its members. She has always demonstrated a willingness to learn and contribute. She readily accepts advice and is also able to offer valuable input from her own perspective. She is well respected and always displays a high level of sportsmanship and is an excellent role model especially for our junior playing base. She contributes fully to the club and goes over and beyond every time.



Bailey Sloman

Bailey's contribution to coaching, refereeing and undertaking Redskins referee coordinator role, including sacrificing his own financial benefit every Thursday and Friday to be on the sideline every week to mentor up-and-coming referees, is significant for both Redskins Touch and Townsville Junior Touch Football.

Whilst this is not unusual, Bailey is just 18 years old and has no specific personal/family connection/commitment to make the contributions he has made.  He has benefitted from valuable coaching as a referee and as a player in previous years, and understands the value of putting back into this same environment to help benefit others, and the association.

Bailey has coached a Boys 12 team, has refereed, and most importantly, has undertaken the referees coordinator role for the Redskins club.  He has been diligent in ensuring Redskins has met its commitment of referees each week – significant in itself to accommodate the large number of teams entered into the TJT competition by the Redskins club.  Bailey more importantly has also taken it upon himself to ensure that all Redskins referees are supported and mentored by a referee coach.  This has enabled junior (and new referees in particular) to settle into the refereeing ranks with a higher level of confidence and enthusiasm.  Bailey's actions have also been followed by other clubs.

It is worth noting that as 18 year old university student, Bailey has sacrificed financial gain (circa five games each week – three games each Friday and two games Thursday nights) in the interest of mentoring others.


Leigh Preston

Dedicated. Motivated. Nurturing. These are just some of the qualities that Leigh Preston has selflessly brought to the Frogs Touch Club and TOwnsville Junior Touch Football throughout 2018. Leigh is an extremely valuable and vital member within the club and the TJT community. Her strong personal and professional work ethic holds her in high regard within the broader touch community as well as within our club.

Leigh believes that our juniors are our future and that they need to be nurtured to build a strong competitive club and to ensure the longevity of Frogs Touch Club. This is demonstrated through her continued effort and her strong passion and dedication to our youth in junior touch football which has seen our juniors grow and develop into young ambassadors for the game within the junior competition and representational areas.

During the 2018 junior touch season, Leigh has readily taken on the coaching duties of two junior teams in the 11 Girls and 9 Boys 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 Touch Club junior registrar and this year has stepped back from secretary to take on the role of vice president. She has solely managed the registrar role to coordinate the entire 23 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 also coordinates the purchase and distribution of club uniforms and provides 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 again instrumental in the establishment of a minor sub-committee in 2018, to coordinate and encourage maximum club team participation in the NQ Junior 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 the Frogs 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 2018 but she has been a consistent and influential figure within the junior sector for numerous years.

She is truly, an amazing individual.



Kayla Pike

Kayla Pike has been with Rum Runners Touch Club since playing as a junior herself.  Her passion for the game is second-to-none and this is demonstrated within the clubs juniors. Her contribution to the club is noted by our players, parents, and her peers.

She is actively involved in coaching and developing Rum Runners players, to not only improve their skill level but also by enjoying themselves at the same time.  For the 2018 junior season, she has coached several teams, which demonstrates her continued and consistent work ethic in regards within the club and junior touch.  Kayla undertakes coaching with a view towards development and longevity with players in our game, which she achieves by focussing on player groups and ages, as opposed to personal relationships and game outcomes. Her ability to pass on her knowledge, experience, commitment, and passion has resulted in players wanting to return following seasons, exemplified by positive feedback from one parent who stated that she "nails it" and the kids "can't wait to come back next year". It's part of the reason that Kayla is seen as a role model for upcoming coaches in the Rum Runners club.

In addition to coaching, Kayla was an integral part of organising and administering Rum Runners players at the NQ Junior Championships this year.  If anyone has been involved with the NQ Junior Championships, they know that there is a lot involved behind the scenes, but it was never an issue with her can-do attitude. Even under time-restraints, she completed all tasks to ensure all players and teams were registered and able to participate in the event.

Very rarely you will see Kayla sitting down because between coaching commitments she also puts her hand up to referee games when the club is short.  She understands without referees there are no games, so rather than sitting on the sideline she displays the values of a person actively involved in junior sport.

Kayla is a valued member of the Rum Runners Touch Club and her time, effort, and unfaltering dedication is truly amazing.



Jason Pierce

Jason is the current Vice President of Sharks Touch Club; a club he has had a lengthy and fruitful relationship with for many many years – across both junior and senior segments of the club.

Besides his usual committee responsibilities, Jason also coaches the Sharks Boys 14 Blue team, as well as helps as assistant coach to Julie Harrison and the 11 Girls Blue. He is an incumbent NQ Cyclones junior representative coach, and is heavily invested in the development of junior players, using his coaching experience, as well as that experience from his own elite player representation, to ensure players are kept abreast of contemporary trends in the game. He is always available to assist novice coaches, or lend an opinion from his vast experience to anyone who asks.

Jason is also a club referee, and can always be relied on to fulfil not only his own individual rostered obligations, but also fill in (for other clubs as well) should an extra referee be required. Whenever carrying out these duties he does so in a professional manner, and with integrity and ethical decision making.

Jason is a well known, but more importantly, well respected member of the Townsville Junior Touch Football community - who is a fine ambassador for the game and a fitting role model for all those he has dealings with.