Vice President of Griffith Moorooka Juniors Nathan Price, was recently named the July winner of the McDonalds Volunteer of the Month Award for the McDonalds AFL Queensland Brisbane Juniors league.
The state government employee for housing, has taken on many roles around his club for four years including coaching, team manager, vice president and the new and improved team mascot, ‘Griff’ the rooster.
Nathan’s nomination for the award included a photograph of him in his rooster suit costume, which he bought and introduced as the team’s junior mascot last season.
“I was just trying to think of different ways to boost our junior numbers and I thought about what I liked as a kid,” said Price.
“My son’s reaction at a Lions game when Roy is running around really sparked the idea to develop a mascot for our juniors.
“So, I bought a chicken suit off eBay and brought it to the club for naming and we came up with ‘Griff’ for Griffith Moorooka roosters.”
Nathan has done more than just wear a rooster costume for his club, he has implemented a number of strategies that have led to junior membership doubling at Griffith Moorooka.
“I did things such as contacting the local schools making sure information about our club was in the school newsletters and social media sponsored advertisements aimed at engaging with the community more,” he said.
The motivation for Nathan to take such a heavy involvement in volunteering at Griffith Moorooka initially came from a source close to home.
“Nobody had put their hand up for it and I said to my son, who was eight at the time, if nobody does it then we can go down the road to Yeronga. He turned around and told me I really want to stay at the roosters and play footy with my friends so, he actually asked me to do it,” said Price.
Nathan recognises how important this award is not only to him but to the other volunteers and to the club itself.
“It’s really good for our club and where we have come from, as club who traditionally hasn’t had a lot of juniors and junior teams. It’s also been a reward for the hard work I’ve put in and the people around me. So, it’s quite special,” he said.
For the future Nathan has some goals for his junior club to expand with more teams and more female players at the club.
“Next year I really want to get a girl’s team up in under 11s, to coincide with the launch of our women’s team next season. Also, we are looking to push into youth football with our first under 12s team next season which will be our first youth team for a long time,” said Price.
As a fan of Brisbane since the Brisbane Bear days, Nathan is looking forward to taking his son to plenty of Lions games after winning a premium membership with the award.
By Aaron Goodwin