By Michelle Esperanza-Lee
The legacy of Wayne “Dozer” Dover on Sunshine Coast football will be recognized by two clubs close to his heart this Saturday, with an inaugural charity day.
The beloved Sunshine Coast football identity will be remembered when Caloundra and Noosa play at North St for the first time on the first Dozer Day, with the Wayne Dover shield and best on ground medal to be awarded in his honour.
Dover was a premiership fullback with the Nooosa Tigers, coached the side’s U18 side as well as Caloundra’s senior team in his time in football.
The day will be used to increase awareness, and raise funds for, the One Punch Can Kill campaign.
Panthers president, Brad Hipwood, said it was crucial to try and help change a worrying culture in the community.
“We, as a community club, have a responsibility to our members, volunteers and supporters to make their environment a safe and happy one,” he said.
“We just want to celebrate Wayne Dover’s life and legacy through the game of football on Saturday. He has impacted so many people in his lifetime.”
Hipwood decided on honouring Dover in this way after a tragic turn of events saw Dover’s life-long friend, Bruce Steensen, succumb to a coward punch.
“When I attended Bruce’s funeral at Aspley I was heartened to see the OPCK people there and that there was a medium out there that could start to educate people about the consequences of their behaviour.
“That is where the idea came from to create this “Dozer Day” and do something for the community,” Hipwood said.
“This type of social behaviour is cause for concern.”
Hipwood said the club was still reeling from Dover’s sudden passing.
“There is still shock and sadness that stems from losing a respected member, one who has been so involved in community football for a long time,” he said.
The Caloundra club has been proactive in educating their juniors with regard to the effects of racism and bullying- such as arranging for an anti-discrimination seminar for all junior players.
The reception and Hipwood received from the parents of the juniors and members was overwhelming.
“The members and parents of our junior players were so appreciative of our organizing the seminar,” he said.
“But social behaviour needs ongoing education. It is not something that will fix itself.”