Nominees Announced for 2021 Joanne Sale Award for Volunteer of the Year

Townsville Junior Touch Football is proud to announce the nominees for this year's Joanne Sale Award for Volunteer of the Year.

To recognise the nominees for this year's award, a special presentation ceremony will be held at the Townsville Touch Football clubhouse at 5:15pm Friday 26 November, 2021.

TJT thanks all volunteers across our local touch football community for the hard work they have put into the sport over the last twelve months, but a particular thank-you goes to the individuals below who have stood out to their club and earned themselves nominations for this year's awards.

The Townsville Junior Touch Football (TJT) management committee will choose one standout volunteer from the nominees to be this year's Volunteer of the Year, awarding them the Joanne Sale Award for 2021.

This year's nominees are:

Belinda Chittleborough (Brothers Touch Club)

Belinda Chittleborough was nominated because her club regards her as a true ambassador and a major asset to the sport of Touch Football, as well as her beloved club - Brothers.

Chittleborough works tirelessly throughout both the senior and junior touch football seasons, very rarely saying "no" to requests for help from those in need.

As one of Brother's junior coordinators, Chittleborough is committed to the kids and their families, and to ensure that their experience within both the Brothers club and the general touch football community is a positive one.

Not only does she hold the role as junior coordinator for the Brothers club, Chittleborough also has a major role in the coordination of the club's referees, somehow still finding time to coach two junior sides, and making her an outstanding nominee for this year's Joanne Sale Award for Volunteer of the Year.

Jason Buczynsky (Crocs Touch Club)

Jason Buczynsky, known to many as "Mr B", has been a huge driving force in getting Crocs Touch Club from three junior teams to nearly twenty teams over a few short years.

Buczynsky works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that his Crocs club is ready to go for both the junior and senior season by organising coaches, player registrations and team compositions.

The hours that are required keeping the administration side of a club up-to-date are tedious, but Buczynsky readily takes on the workload without complaint, knowing the benefit it serves to the sport, and his club in particular.

Buczynsky has been instrumental in keeping his club running, through his recruitment of junior players, and the establishment of St Anthony’s Catholic College as its junior training venue.

In additional to his administration roles, Buczynsky has developed his skills as a coach and with that, has been able to mentor new coaches in his club.

Buczynsky is always working hard to further increase his touch football volunteering portfolio, recently taking the reigns as Townsville Touch Football's Coach & Representative Coordinator.

With his focus on junior development at the forefront, Buczynsky supported our junior players to attend the Queensland Junior State Cup, from one team in 2020 to four teams in 2021.

Buczynsky continues his role with Townsville Touch Football's senior representative sides, coordinating organise teams to attend the Queensland State Cup in 2020 and 2021.

Crocs Touch Football Club President, Denise Weier, is first to admit that they would not be where they are today if it wasn’t for the contributions of Buczynsky, saying "it’s hard to put together in writing all that someone like Jason has done for our club."

"There is no doubt that our little club would be even littler without him, and we are proud to acknowledge his efforts through his nomination for the Joanne Sale Award."

Sue Salter (Frogs Touch Club)

Sue Salter has been an integral part of the Frogs Touch Club for over thirty-five years, and an invaluable member of the club's junior executive committee for over fifteen years.

Salter has held various roles on the Frog's junior executive and is a highly regarded and well-respected member of her club and the Townsville Touch Football community.

Her involvement with the sport has seen her ply her talents at every level, from running skill development workshops and programmes for Townsville’s junior players, to coaching regional, state, and national touch football sides, always striving to provide honesty, integrity, and focus to every role.

Salter’s involvement also stretches beyond the touch football field and into the classroom, regularly facilitating training and accreditation courses for prospective and returning touch football coaches.

Through her time in the sport, Salter has had involvement with not just her Frog’s club, but through appointments to positions with Townsville Touch Football (TTF), North Queensland Touch Football (NQTF), Queensland Touch Football (QTF), Touch Football Australia (TFA), and the Federation of International Touch (FIT).

Salter is loyal, hardworking, and always displays the values of her club and the sport; integrity, honesty, fairness, sportsmanship and good character; making her a great club person, and club sportsperson.

Salter has always been a very loyal and dedicated worker, not always out the front but always supporting and ensuring that her club not only thrives but grows. The strength of the Frog’s junior base is a testament to this.

The contribution to Frog’s by Salter, over such a long period has, is, and will remain exceptional, always putting the club first and ensuring that the club's resources and the club's Code of Conduct is always at the forefront.

A regular volunteer at all club fundraising events, and always assists at any club functions, 2021 saw the club call on Salter for help on many occasions.

Her skill set knows no bounds, and she can regularly be found pitching in at club events in any way she can, from selling raffle tickets, cooking the snags at Bunnings, selling meat tray tickets at the club’s sponsor (The Australian Hotel) on Friday nights, manning the food store at the "Elite Rodeo", setting up venues for functions, helping to marshal and keep safe just under 500 club members at the end of year junior function (whilst remaining dry!). Nothing is ever too much, and there is always a smile and a can-do attitude.

A selection of Salter’s contributions to her club and the sport in 2021 include:

  • Training Development sessions for the club's coaches, held on a regular basis at the club's home ground of Cranbrook Park and conducted both prior to, and whilst the coach is running a training session with their team, to ensure the coach receives a one-on-one experience as well as a mentoring session whilst coaching. These training sessions are broken into two levels - new coaches and experienced coaches, so that Sue can tailor the sessions to suite the skill set of the coach
  • Training development clinics for players across all age divisions within the club, held during the regular club training days and offered to different age groups on a rotational basis
  • Input on the allocation of players to teams for the 2021 junior competition, using her selection skillset which is highly sought after by the club's coaches.
  • Referee mentoring, by setting up games during club team training days and enabling new referees to be mentored, and experienced referees to be guided by the club's senior level referees.

Salter does not coach an individual team so is not required to attend training and games, though you won’t see that stop her from being at training on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, followed by games on Thursdays and Fridays, to offer as much assistance and guidance as she can.

Never one to let anyone go without, Salter can regularly be seen stepping in for a coach when they can’t make game day or lending a hand to the club’s junior coordinator in times of need.

More recently, junior players and team coaches across the Townsville community have experienced Salter’s coaching expertise first-hand, with her Sunday morning skill development programme regularly attracting over 50 players and coaches from across the city’s clubs.

After her dedication, and contribution to touch football, Salter is a fitting nominee for this year’s Joanne Sale Award for Volunteer of the Year.

Renee Marsh (Jots-Tigers Touch Club)

Renee Marsh has been an integral part of the Jots-Tigers club, particularly for its junior touch football programme over the last four years.

Marsh has spent considerable time trying to rebuild the junior numbers for our club, singlehandedly filling a quite difficult and time-consuming role for the small club where volunteers are always hard to come by.

It is a constant juggle to attract and then try to retain children, but through Marsh's continued drive and enthusiasm the Jots-Tigers club have seen its junior members grow.

Many parents are quick to mention that Jots-Tigers always has a welcoming and inclusive environment, which is largely due to Marsh's continued commitment and passion for both the club and the sport.

Marsh is also a great ambassador for the game, encouraging children to come and have a go and play our sport, often helping children find teams at other clubs if her own club was unable to accommodate them, always ensuring that junior touch football is available to everyone in Townsville.

Marsh is a great asset to both her club and the Townsville touch football community, and it is very appropriate to see her recognised as her club’s nominee for this year’s award.

Steven McCarron (Redskins Touch Club)

Steven McCarron has been involved with Redskins since the early 90’s and has made significant contributions to the Redskins club during his time as a player, coach and general club member.

The last 24 months has seen him take on extra duties as Vice President of Redskins, a role he filled proudly but was unable to continue due to recent health complications.

One of the many great attributes McCarron possesses is his ability to commit to and perform his roles at a very high level, sometimes under great duress due to his own health, which is why it is such regret that he had to stand down from his committee position last month due to focus on his health.

In 2021, McCarron took on the role of team manager for the North Queensland Cyclones Under 14 Boys side that played in recent National Youth Championships.

The side featured many boys that have been coached by McCarron over the years, using his decade’s worth of experience as a North Queensland representative coach to develop each player to a representative level.

McCarron has always put his club and team first and has always made himself available to the sport when it came to game and club development.

Always remains positive under any circumstance, McCarron never fails to deliver positive outcomes for his players and club whilst coaching and administrating.

In the eyes of the Redskins club members, McCarron is seen as great ambassador to the sport, and a mentor to his players and coaches.

Once McCarron finishes coaching in the senior season, his attention is turned to juniors where he currently coaches two successful junior teams in the Under 14 and Under 15 boys age groups, which are consistently top of their respective tables.

McCarron’s continued tireless efforts, both on off the field, will have an everlasting positive impact to the development of the Redskins junior touch programme, and further to Townsville Junior Touch Football, and is a worth recipient of his club’s nomination for the Joanne Sale Award for Volunteer of the Year.

Darcy Rowe (Rum Runners Touch Club)

Many at the Rum Runners club will know Darcy Rowe as an enthusiastic, strong-willed character that is always there whenever a job is needed to be completed.

Rowe has been a vital part of the Rum Runners Touch Football Club’s management team for several years, also providing sponsorship to his club through his own business – Rowey’s Plumbing & Gas – most recently contributing funds to purchase playing balls with the club’s sponsors on them, enough to give to each registered player at the club and fulfilling a goal his club has been working hard to achieve.

That’s something that the club was extremely proud to do in 2021, and it was in no small part thanks to Rowe’s contribution and motivation.

Rowe has been a delegate to Townsville Junior Touch Football for the last two years, regularly attending meetings and bringing new perspective on ideas and discussions, a contribution that is greatly appreciated by his club and with TJT General Committee.

Away from committee meetings, Rowe can also be seen on Thursday and Friday nights, wearing his orange “delegates” vest with pride, in between coaching an Under 14 Girls team that he has guided for several seasons.

Rowe’s dedication to the future stars of our sport is best show in his humility, often the first one to ask for ideas and assistance to bridge the gap in skill level between junior players, always focused on what can be done better.

Despite being a tough and often thankless job, Rowe is also a keen referee and is always there to lend a helping hand whenever needed, something not overlooked by his club and the touch football community.

His dedication and commitment to his club, and the sport, has easily earned Rowe his club’s nomination for the Joanne Sale Award for Volunteer of the Year.

Cherrie Pierce (Sharks Touch Club)

How do you describe someone like Cherrie Pierce, in less than a thousand words?

The answer is that you can’t, because put simply, Pierce lives, eats, and breathes touch football.

Aside from her family and friends, Pierce next greatest passion in life would no doubt be touch football; her many hours of hard work, dedication, and commitment to her beloved club, Sharks Touch Football Club, and Townsville Touch Football could never truly be quantified.

Pierce doesn’t ask for thanks, nor does she expect it, which is precisely a reason why she should be recognised. Cherrie just gets on with whatever needs to be done; always offering to help, being the last person to leave after making sure everything is tidied and in order, and always considering others first.

For many, their normal involvement in touch football begins once they step on their playing field, and ends at full time, but in Pierce life that’s far from the usual because she’s at Townsville Touch Football’s Queens Park five nights a week performing a range of jobs from ordering and sorting uniforms for players to purchase, taking registrations and payments, assigning players into teams, organising coaches for her club’s thirty-seven juniors teams, sorting equipment (and pumping up touch balls), doing stocktake, allocating referees to games (and refereeing a few herself), getting to know all of the players and building positive relationships with their families, coaching a team or three when needed, being the Sharks’ delegate to the TJT committee every Thursday and Friday night… the list goes on.

You will rarely see Pierce complain though, she does it all with a friendly smile and a kind and generous heart, because she genuinely cares about members of the whole touch community.

While Pierce has an understandable passion for her own club’s players, her focus is on seeing all junior players play and enjoy the sport of touch, regardless of club, and is always looking for ways to rectify problems and keep as many kids playing our sport as possible.

It’s not just training and games at Queens Park that keeps Pierce busy, after hours she’s answering emails, phone calls, text messages, reconciling the banking and registration payments to the club’s accounts, all of which take time and effort (as anyone who’s filled a similar volunteer role will know).

In additional to her club duties, Pierce also takes on the role of Finance Director with Townsville Touch Football, team manager of the Townsville Saints 18 Boys and North Queensland Cyclones Under 16 Boys representative team, and on top of everything else, still manages to find some time play the sport she loves.

Not to be forgotten is the fact that the dedication Pierce gives to the sport of touch football in Townsville is for twelve months of the year, each and every year.

As every member of the Sharks Touch Football Club can attest to, Pierce is the person that everyone contacts when they have a question or needs information.

For Pierce, touch football isn’t just about community, its about family, and any keen observer will see that her husband Jason, son Josh, and daughter Hannah are down at touch with her.

The commitment and passion for the Sharks Touch Football Club, and the sport of touch football in general, that Cherrie and Jason display, has been thoroughly instilled in their children.

Together they both coach, referee, play, set up for the junior games, and, just like mum, lend a helping hand wherever it’s needed.

Pierce believes in ‘giving back’ to the sport that has given her so much enjoyment over a long period of time, and is a positive role model, not just for her own children, but for all those who play touch, both young and old.

A great ambassador for the sport we all love and worthy of again being nominated for the Joanne Sale Award for Volunteer of the Year, Pierce is summed up perfectly by the words of Sharks Touch Football Club’s President Linda Stringini:

“Put simply, Sharks’ juniors would not exist if it wasn’t for Cherrie’s efforts.”

“It has been Cherrie who has, almost single-handedly, put our junior players on the field this year.”

“I have been involved in touch football in Townsville for 37 years, and I have seen a lot of changes in the management, not just at Sharks, but at other clubs as well. Cherrie is still here, continually taking on more and more. There are very few people in this sporting community that I trust, respect, and admire, as much as I do Cherrie. It has been my absolute privilege to work alongside Cherrie for many years, and I hope to do so, for many more.”