Volunteer of the week: Bruce Stewart

Morningside football manager Bruce Stewart is the cog in the wheel who makes it all turn, and is this weeks AFL Queensland volunteer of the week.

If you’ve seen Morningside play this year, Bruce is the guy running around with the team sheet, making sure the live score is working, ensuring everything is running smoothly, and keeping everything up to date; he’s a busy man.

He may only be in his second year at the club, but the impact he has made is huge, and the love for the club is there for all to see.

“I’m passionate about the club, they are a good club. The positive is, when you’re working within the closeness of it you see the joy the boys get out of it and the hard work they do and you see the other side of the volunteers and the board members and what they have to do to be successful,” Stewart said.

“That’s why you want to be a part of it.”

Even he has been surprised with quickly his passion for the club has developed.

“When you start getting in the inner sanctum, you certainly switch from just being a supporter and enjoying going down and watching your son play or watching the seniors play,” he said.

“To be right in the inner sanctum and get to know the daily running of the club and how it operates, you get quite passionate quite quickly, because you want success and you want the club to do well, on and off the field, and you want people to be happy.”

While his Panther days are relatively young, he is no stranger to the football circuit.

He played as a junior, before moving into umpiring, where he went on to boundary umpire around 40 AFL games between 1991 and 1993, and well as three QAFL grand finals in 1989, 1991 and 1993.

After a move to Bulimba a few years ago, and with son Connor looking for a new footy club, the Morningside connection was made.

After a year on the side lines watching Connor, he was asked to step up to the footy manager role.

“I was on a committee at the club organising our golf day. I had been on that for the last two years, and must have done a good job I guess. I just happened to be talking to a senior committee member and he mentioned the role, and asked if I would be interested and that’s how it happened,” Stewart said.

It was an opportunity he jumped at.

“No hesitation, I just wasn’t 100 per cent certain of what the role entailed and the time commitment you had to give, but you don’t know until you try,” he said.

Juggling family, work, life, and football does present its challenges, but Stewart believes it’s about finding that balance.

“It’s not easy, you just have to prioritise, you have to be organised and you have to communicate,” he said.

“It’s not easy, I’ll say that because there is a fair bit involved, you’ve got the administration side, match day, training and all those sorts of things, but if you communicate well you can get it done, and if you can’t do it you find someone else who can.”

Stewart is now a fully-fledged Morningsider, and has no plans on that changing anytime soon.

“Now that I’m involved and doing the role, what opportunities the club might have, for me personally I want to stay involved in the club as much as I need to do, and feel that I can offer something,” he said.


Morningside coach David Lake’s thought on Bruce Stewart

Bruce, ‘the AFL boundary umpire’ as I affectionately refer to him as,  he’s the umpire that we let jump the fence. A super personality in our group, Bruce takes his role at the club personally. Most noteworthy is that Bruce has no reason to do the work that he does other than his love for the game and the club.

A typical week for Bruce is basically that of the old CDM role that was a full time paid role. All administrative tasks internally and externally that make game day happen, coordinating volunteer staff for the week in all senior grades and if that isn’t enough he loves addressing welfare issues with in the playing group. To summarise Bruce, he likes to see everyone involved have the time of their life even if that is at his own expense. He is the life of the party socially amongst the group and has the ultimate respect of all. You don’t meet a lot of Bruce Stewart’s on your journey through sport. First man picked every week – he makes it all tick.


Don’t forget, nominations are now open for the 2015 AFL Queensland Volunteer and Coach of the Year Awards. Click here to nominate.

By Andrew Wiles@andrewjwiles

Our Supporters