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Awards recognise that football unites Northern NSW communities

The people who contribute to football clubs each week are acknowledged at the Jennings Medal 2018 awards evening.

Tuesday, 23 October, 2018.

Laurence Barlow personifies enthusiasm when talking about football. After coaching nine junior teams in the Port Macquarie Hastings Region throughout the 2018 season he was still bubbling with passion for the sport.

"I love community football because it is pure," he said. "People are part of it because they want to be – not for some external reward. It is full of people who want children to be active. It is full of people who want to see our sport grow and continue to be the number one sport in the world."

That’s the spirit that community football clubs run on. 

Laurence coached several teams between the ages 6 and 10 at Iona Football Club, which was in its first season, in the Football Mid North Coast competition. He also coached school teams and combined Football Mid North Coast teams. But he couldn’t single out a top moment from the season.  

"I suppose the number one overall thing is making a contribution to the sport I love and watching it continue to expand and develop," he said. "As a coach there is no better feeling than watching a young player’s face light up when they put into practice something you have helped them develop in training."

Laurence also praised Newcastle Permanent’s major sponsorship of football across the Northern NSW Football Association  (NNSWF) footprint.

"Every dollar is important," he said, "having the equipment to run a session, things as simple as a ball per player, pop up goals, training vests and other coaching resources, are all made possible by Newcastle Permanent’s sponsorship."

As the football season came to a close for 2018, the full reach and effect of Newcastle Permanent’s sponsorship of the sport through Northern NSW was clear.

This year, Newcastle Permanent’s decade-long sponsorship supported more than 4,200 teams from 200 clubs, and 620 referees, across the seven NNSWF zones. Juliette Fabien, a referee in the Newcastle Football competition, said the sponsorship made the sport accessible to all in the community.

"The Newcastle Permanent support provides opportunity for all players and officials to enjoy football," she said. "Their sponsorship supports the clubs to provide facilities for players and officials so that the game is accessible to all."

For Jasmine Riddle, who coaches and volunteers to help the Pottsville Beach FC, it’s that accessibility and opportunity for all people that makes football such an important part of communities.

"It allows people of all ages and backgrounds to come together and enjoy a sport that has been going for years and years," she said.

Volunteer of the Year Doreen Dickinson.
Volunteer of the Year Doreen Dickinson.
Coach of the Year Derryn Knix
Coach of the Year Derryn Nix.
Referee of the Year Mike King
Referee of the Year Mike King.

"It offers everyone a chance to be a part of a community that fosters sportsmanship and fair play, competition, and social comps that cater for all ability levels." 

The monthly Newcastle Permanent Community Football awards culminate into the annual Northern NSW Football presentation night, with one overall winner from each category coach, referee, volunteer and club. 

Congratulations to the following winners of the 2018 Newcastle Permanent Community Football awards: 

  •  Volunteer of the Year: Doreen Dickinson – South West Rocks Football Club (Mid North Coast) 
  •  Coach of the Year: Derryn Nix – Kyogle Football Club (Far North Coast) 
  •  Referee of the Year: Mike King – Newcastle Referees 
  •  Club of the Year: Lochinvar Rovers Football Club (Hunter Valley)   
Representatives of Club of the Year Lochinvar FC.
Representatives from Club of the Year Lochinvar Rovers FC.

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