2019 Joanne Sale Award Nominees Announced

Townsville Junior Touch Football is pleased to announce this year's nominees for the Joanne Sale Award, which recognises the contributions our dedicated volunteers have made to the sport and our organisation over the last 12 months.

A special presentation ceremony will be held at the Townsville Touch Football clubhouse at 5:15pm on Friday November 29, 2019, to recognise all of this year's nominees.

The Townsville Junior Touch Football Executive Committee will determine an "overall recipient" of the 2019 Joanne Sale Award for Volunteer of the Year, which will be presented on Grand Final night - Friday December 6, 2019.

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 2019 Joanne Sale Award for Volunteer of the Year.

We have included their nominations, as submitted, so that you can see just how special they are to each of their respective clubs.

Alison Twiname Brothers Touch Club

Alison has worked tirelessly during 2019 as the newly elected President of Brothers Touch Club, to put together a new committee and rebuild the Brothers Touch Football brand and image, co-ordinating and mentoring both senior and junior coaches, introducing a Coach the Coaches programme, and to build a fantastic culture within our club.

During the current junior touch football season, Alison has not only coached a Girls 16 team, but also a girls development team who played in the 15's division. These girls were brought to Alison's attention by their respective age level coaches as wanting to further develop in the sport of touch, hence Alison creating a development team and taking them under her wing, alongside some of her more experienced players from her 16 girls team to help mentor the younger girls out on the field, thus in turn giving the more experienced player a leadership role.

Alison recognises the importance of developing the juniors from a young age and regularly says our juniors are our future seniors and is a motivated advocate of the sport. As a result Alison is not only the club president, senior and junior teams coach, but also a mentor to other coaches and is highly regarded not only within our club, but also by the wider touch community. This year within our club she has pioneered the introduction of junior development sessions during the senior season to keep the junior touch players engaged during their off season, coach the coaches sessions, meetings and get togethers, and the implementation of junior skills sessions during the junior season.

Alison has also encouraged her family to be a big part of our club with two of her children coaching junior teams, refereeing, and playing. Alison also "dobbed" her husband in this year to take on a junior boys team who needed extra guidance. She is a big believer of "giving back", hence the encouragement of her children to coach and mentor young touchies!

Without Alison's passion, knowledge and persistence Brothers Touch Club would not be what it is today.

Travis Johnston Crocs Touch Club

Travis Johnston joined Crocs in 2018 but has already become an active promoter of touch football, and a passionate committee member. Since joining our club, he has coached junior teams in both seasons and has been active in coaching and promoting the sport across his community.

Travis has been very determined to increase his knowledge of the game and taken every chance to learn from our experts. He is a regular at Sue Salter's coaching clinics and isn't shy of getting involved.

Travis has given up his time on numerous occasions to transport players from the Northern Beaches area (and beyond) to trainings, games, and clinics by bus and car. 

You'll see him down supporting his players who attend trials for NQ selection. He has coached at the 2018 and 2019 NQ Junior Championships and has expressed interest in getting his Talent Coach accreditation so he can assist at NQ level.

As a chaplain at Bluewater and Rollingstone schools, he has founded the Bluestone Cup - a hotly contested touch football competition that provides players from each school the chance to battle it out in a SOO style competition. He has also organised several community touch football games through his involvement with the local Lions Club. 

He is a great role model for our youth, promoting women in sport and supporting our at-risk youth by providing a safe and inclusive environment.  During the floods earlier this year he was the organiser behind a flood clean-up crew that consisted of the local kids and community including several of our Crocs club members. 

This year Travis organised for a local NRL Touch Premiership player to visit his school and give a talk at a school touch event. He is always looking to inspire young players, including taking his whole team to an NRL Touch Premiership home game!

At Crocs he is always happy to help and is full of ideas to promote and improve the experience for the kids. Yes, he can get a little too excited at times, but overall, we are very lucky to have him!

Bobbie McMinn Frogs Touch Club

Bobbie is a highly valued, hardworking and very contentious volunteer for the club. She has been part of Frogs junior committee/coaching staff for the last thirteen years. She has always held multiple roles, including coaching, refereeing or part of the junior committee; she is currently coaching two teams and mentors a further two teams in the 2019 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 is also assistant junior registrar again this season and has assisted the club’s registrar 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 of, and collection of money for the purchase of uniforms to assist the club in ensuring that all players are correctly attired.

Again in 2019, Bobbie has also taken on the role as 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 club’s executive and the player/parent base:

Integrity – listens, absorbs, asks questions – carries out the duties of the junior registrar admirably and is not afraid to ask if not certain. Things get done correctly the first time by Bobbie 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.

Sportsmanship – Bobbie shows a great deal of respect for both players, parents and club officials. She is able to listen 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 referred 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. 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 club and has played a huge part in the club’s 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 – 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 but she also brings fun and laughter and friendship into the team and is committed to getting things done. She has assisted the club offering to help at BBQs, selling raffle tickets etc. Nothing is ever too much,

Bobbie continues to be a dedicated and self-motivated individual which, coupled with her enthusiasm and commitment, has a positive effect on the club and its members. She always demonstrates a willingness to learn and contribute. 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.

Leanne Ottaway Jots-Tigers Touch Club

Jots-Tigers Touch club would like to nominate Leanne Ottaway for the Joanne Sale Award for volunteer of the year.

Leanne is a real ambassador for the sport who acts and works for the best interest of the game.

Leanne plays in the senior competition always playing the game with great sportsmanship and ability. She presents a positive image for our club and for the sport.

Leanne is the secretary for the club and always helps in all other activities, i.e. fund raising, social events, and coaching.

Leanne also coaches our junior girls despite having no children of her own playing. Jots-Tigers are currently in its re-building phase, so a lot of work is to be done with not many volunteers making it a big job. Without volunteers like Leanne this would not be possible. She is very patient with the younger players teaching them the basics of the game, and organises them to get to their games, distributes uniforms and assists with payment options where needed.

Leanne has actively contributed to Townsville Junior Touch Football and would be a worthy recipient for this award.

Jodi Villalba Redskins Touch Club

Jodi comes from a family that has a long history with touch football in Townsville, across senior and junior competitions. The legacy of giving back that was instilled by her mum (Joanne Sale) to all the Sale children is apparent in the tireless effort that Jodi has given, not only to the Redskins club, but also to Townsville Junior Touch Football.

Jodi was in charge of Redskins during the "dark ages", the time of no online management system; taking phones calls and sorting out teams on sheets of paper in a thick binder that she carried wherever she went, talking to numerous current and prospective parents, going back through that binder to try put those children in a team, and using all manner of persuasion to find yet another coach for a team. Throw in the fact that she was trying to organise and coach her own teams at the same time and you can imagine just how busy her days where.

Jodi has coached both her children both at a local and representative level. When her daughter's (Bailee) junior career finished, Jodi took on coaching yet another girls team, committing to take them through to their final season and supporting them at NQ Junior Championships.

Jodi’s family ethos of giving back are the foundations that upon which we model our Redskins junior programme today, encouraging and supporting our junior players to become referees, coaches, play at representative levels, get involved in the junior tournaments, as well as turn up and support our other teams.

Jodi has given many dedicated hours to mentoring coaches and supporting our juniors, throughout 2019 and in all her years prior. Most significantly, Jodi has always adopted the philosophy of trying to support Touch Football as either a player, coach, friend and mentor. Jodi will give her time and advice to anyone no matter which club you play for.

Kayla Pike Rum Runners Touch Club

Kayla Pike has been with Rum Runners Touch Club since playing as a junior herself. Her passion for the game and our club is second-to-none, which is demonstrated by Kayla stepping up to be our president and delegate for both senior and juniors competitions this year.

She is actively involved in coaching and developing our players to not only improve their skill level, but also by enjoying themselves at the same time. For the 2019 junior season she has coached several teams, which demonstrates her continued and consistent work ethic in regards within the club and junior touch football.

Kayla undertakes coaching with a view towards development and longevity with players in our game. She achieves this 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.

In addition to coaching, Kayla was an integral part of organising and administering our players at the NQ Junior Championships this year. As anyone who has been involved with the NQ Champs knows, there is a lot involved behind the scenes, but it was never an issue with Kayla’s can-do attitude. Even under time-restraints, she completed all tasks to ensure all our players and teams were registered and able to participate in the Championships.

Very rarely you will see Kayla sitting down; between coaching she also puts her hand up to referee games when the club is in need! She understands that 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 our club and her time, effort, and unfaltering dedication is truly amazing. On behalf of Rum Runners Touch Club, we'd like to put forward Kayla Pike’s nomination for consideration as 2019 Townsville Junior Touch Volunteer of the Year.

Chris Brown Sharks Touch Club

Chris is the quintessential "volunteer". He doesn't rely on being a formal member of a committee, he simply puts his hand up to get jobs done when needed. He referees, and coaches junior teams; he participates in, and assists, at club functions and can always be relied on.

Chris put many hours into assisting with the lead up to the NQ Junior Championships and was amongst the first to arrive each morning and the last to leave each evening, always ensuring that anything that needed to be done, was!

When an extra referee is needed for the club, Chris is often the first to put his hand up to do 'extra' games on top of those he has already committed to. When we were short a junior coach this season, Chris had no hesitation taking the role on if that is what the club required.

Chris is a terrific ambassador for the sport, who always acts and works for the best interest of the game, never bringing the game into disrepute. He receives no remuneration for his contributions (other than the intrinsic satisfaction that he is helping his beloved Sharks), and always presents a positive image for Townsville Junior Touch Football, Townsville Touch Football, Sharks Touch Club, and the sport of touch football as a whole.

Chris is a true club person and we believe would be a worthy recipient of the Joanne Sale Volunteer of the Year Award.