Thursday 23 September 2010

One of the great servants of Australian football in Mackay and the Gold Coast, Col Johnson, will enjoy the 2010 AFL grand final in Melbourne on Saturday as a reward for being named the State Volunteer of the Year.

Col has been a key driver of significant growth and development in the game in Mackay over the past three years, two as AFL Mackay president and one as the Eastern Swans vice-president.

Prior to that Col had 30 years involvement with the Labrador AFC where he spent 15 years on the executive, 10 as vice-president.

He was also president of the Labrador AFC Old Boys Association for six years.

AFL Mackay has benefited enormously from his move north.

In his short time in the region Col has built on the success of the school-based Auskick program in the Sarina area, and was instrumental in encouraging and assisting a new club committee to form the Sarina Demons AFC.

He worked closely with the AFLQ RDM and the AFL Mackay Senior League (of which he was also a committee member) to ensure the progression of the Andergrove Kangaroos to be included into the senior competition in season 2011.

He developed a strong junior committee of nine other volunteers, with committee members sourced from junior clubs, umpires, and other interested business people.

Co assisted with finding a suitable home ground for the Pioneer Power club by negotiating with the Walkerstone Cricket Club to share their facility

He was instrumental in establishing and obtaining sponsorship to run a successful Under 9 and Under 11 carnival, which attracted over 200 participants from within the region, from Sarina to Whitsunday.

He also encouraged clubs to access and utilize the FootyWeb system, to enter player registrations and match results, hence spreading and reducing the workload of League volunteers.

He developed the AFL Mackay Juniors Matchday Handbook, which provides all clubs, coaches, ground marshals and umpires a clear set of directions and game-day procedures.

Importantly, Col has led a strong committee that has improved relationships and reduced confrontation, which has strengthened the code as a whole.

The AFL has rewarded a volunteer in each of the seven States and Territories.

More than 120,000 volunteers help service Australian Football at all levels and the Australian Football League are forever grateful for the sacrifices Col and other volunteers make to continue supporting the game. 

The 2010 State Volunteers of the Year winners are rewarded with a trip of a lifetime to the 2010 Toyota AFL Grand Final, including two return airfares to Melbourne, three nights’ accommodation at the Sofitel Melbourne, two tickets to the AFL Official Function at the 2010 Toyota AFL Grand Final, the opportunity to walk in the 2010 Toyota AFL Grand Final Parade, and the opportunity to attend a morning tea in the AFL Media Centre with several AFL identities to discuss issues being faced within community football.

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