When Andrew Demetriou decided to call full time on his career as chief executive of the AFL earlier this week it got my mind ticking about the importance of leadership and those chartered with the responsibility of running sporting organisations and sporting clubs. The final siren will sound on Demetriou’s time as boss at the end of this season and the search for his successor is under way.
And while Demetriou runs a multi-billion dollar sport/business, it’s just as important to have the right people running local sporting clubs.
But spare a thought for the many voluntary secretaries of local sporting associations and clubs, honorary presidents and committee members that devote countless hours to organising things for sports participants.
With the summer season winding up, the winter codes clubs are recruiting and registering players, finding coaches, managers, committee members and officials to give up their time during the week at training and on weekends.
Without these men or women who are are officials, there is no sport for boys and girls and adults to play and enjoy social sport.
Andy Favaloro has given much of his life for the betterment of others as president of the Southern Districts Soccer Football Association.
He and a dedicated committee oversee the running of an organisation that includes more than 11,000 registered players and 36 clubs in the Liverpool and Fairfield communities.
In the rural areas of Liverpool, Kevin Campbell, who is president of Austral Soccer Club, has clocked up more hours than a doctor at a public hospital, laying the building blocks for a club that has 500 registered players.
Julie Sligar is president of Bringelly Netball Club where the school teacher by profession, also plays the game in an adult age competition and also coaches junior teams.
Somehow the mother of two girls, who play netball at the club, finds time to do all this.
All Saints Liverpool Junior Rugby League Club is the oldest club in the Liverpool district and play in the Western Suburbs Junior League and without president Roy Perre, youngsters and senior age players wouldn’t get the opportunity to play the game they love and run around their home ground at Hillier Oval on the weekends during winter.
And while the hours may be long and the work seemingly endless, they are involved because they love their sport and want to put plenty back into their community, show leadership and be a fine example for others to follow.