At the end now of an amazing season and topped off beautifully with an incredible day; Sunday’s presentation day and 40th Birthday celebration!
Thank you and congratulations to Jamie Gray, who inspired us to celebrate the club’s 40th Birthday and put so much planning and effort into the day, and to Kate Brown and Lara Snell-Bliss, who also assisted with the planning stages.
And then to the team who rallied in the weeks before and ran such a wonderful day – Stacey Noble, Madison Noble and Andrea Gray (who spent half of Saturday setting up for awards and presentations and then all Sunday helping with the Carnival), Emma Coath (for coordinating an astonishing number of volunteers to assist), Sasha Wilson (who was always there and for whom nothing was ever too much trouble), Jason Gough and Katie Willoughby-Gough (who also assisted the night before and then following through on the BBQ all day!) and Madeline O’Connor, who pulled it all together.
Thank you Zoe Juricic and Antigoni Giannini and a cast of dozens it seemed who had the kitchen and food stalls under control from the opening bounce – those who bought the hot chips, hamburgers, fairy floss and other treats all gave the “2 thumbs up” to the catering.
Corina Baldwin and daughter Charlie kept the momentum going with decorations around the club and there were too many others to name in the early morning set up but the buy-in from the parents was exceptional. Thank you so much!
Plus of course a huge thank you to the Social Coordinators and the many volunteers who assisted us throughout the day on Sunday – so numerous that it is impossible to give appropriate credit to them all – but thank you, all of you for being a part of a very special day!
From 9 am Toorak Park adopted a carnival atmosphere as the rides began to arrive; the biggest jumping castle on the face of the planet, an impressive rock climbing wall, bungee trampoline and bubble soccer were all very popular from the moment they opened for business and the operators never had a moment to draw breath. Even after most had left, kids were still queuing for rides.
The animal farm was extremely popular with the younger set especially and anything cute and fluffy (and rats, too, I might add) drew great attention. A special mention to the club President who caught a runaway chicken with great skill and returned it to its enclosure without a fuss.
The younger age groups demonstrated they had lost none of their appetite for the great game over the last few weeks as they took on their parents in a casual kick at the Southern end of the park – thank you to Jason Dowd for arranging this time-honoured traditional contest. It was enjoyed by one and all.
Of course, we presented all 400+ kids with their participation awards and acknowledged those who won one of the top 6 awards in each team on stage along with their coach, assistant coach and team manager. We presented them to Director of Coaching, Wayne Oswald, the club at large and, thanks to Jamie and Madeline, to the Honourable Kelly O’Dwyer – member for Higgins – who enjoyed the opportunity to witness PJFC in its finest hour. Thank you Kelly for joining us!
We also introduced our 3 premiership playing teams: the u12 Blues, u14 Whites and u15 Girls. Despite none of them winning a flag this year, their pride in their achievements was evident in their smiles! Well done teams!
It was then an honour to introduce 5, 100 game players to the club:
Ed Royle (u14 White)
Alex Psalidas (u14 Black)
Simon Finnegan (u14 Black)
Josh Worrell (u14 Black)
Sam Mercuri (u15)
Well done boys, you’ve been incredibly committed to the club and your development as players and PJFC is proud to have you all wearing the two-blues jumper on so many occasions.
After presenting the 100 gamers, the final act was to introduce previous presidents Chris Garnaut, Liz Jenkins, Tim Habel and Andy Miller along with 10 year major club sponsor Bed Depot proprietor Peter Spargo. Between them, they presented flowers and thanks to Kelly O’Dwyer and our 5 major club awards to the various winners:
Pam Crewes Memorial Trophy
Awarded to the club’s most promising junior player
Winner: Nick Watson (u13 Red)
Bob Minter Memorial Trophy
Awarded to the player judged the best clubman
Winner: Heidi Templeton (u15 Girls)
Sir Rupert Steele Memorial Trophy
Awarded to the winner of the best & fairest in the oldest boys team
Winner: Erick Bagia (u15)
Jamie Gray Trophy (inaugural award)
Awarded to the winner of the best & fairest in the oldest girls team
Winner: Lucy Slobom (u15 Girls)
Peter Spargo Cup
Awarded to a club parent or official for outstanding service to the club and community
Winner: Kaukau Kaurauria
A selection of feedback from Sunday:
“I know the boys had a ball ( and didn’t want to leave ) and it was clearly thoroughly enjoyed by the big crowd.”
“My kids thought the day was “totally awesome” and do want it to be an annual event Such good spirit and a great example of the positive impact the Club has.”
“I have to say I’m still riding off the high that I experienced yesterday”
“An amazing day – as I looked around I was immediately struck by the positive image the day was creating for our club.”
“What a wonderful 40th Birthday celebration for PJFC on Sunday. It was heartening to see the community spirit of the Club-Footballers, family and friends celebrating this occasion together. Community and fitness are such an important part of life.”
..and some more “thank yous”:
In addition to those I have thanked for their efforts last weekend, there are so many other very special people around the club who deserve a very special acknowledgement and thanks for other roles throughout the season.
Kaukau Kauauria for her great spirit and assistance around the club, whether driving players to and from their games (and then pulling on a match day bib while she waited), jumping behind the bar and BBQ or recruiting players, Kaukau was always helping out this season. Special mention must also be made of her work with kids from the disadvantaged backgrounds, as they could not have played footy this season without her support and that of her partner, Boris.
A special mention must be made of Sam McKay who has almost single-handedly brought and maintained a Girls Football presence to the club and Rob Barber for his sponsorship endeavours and especially for his generosity in donating many prizes for our major fundraiser lunch with PAFC. Jason Cornell who has joined Rob in driving sponsorship late season and into next year, Stacey Noble and Sarah Davis for their assistance with tracking player records and milestones (not as easy as it sounds!).
The uniform shop has run smoothly under the guidance of Emma Coath, Sasha Wilson, Eliza McGregor, Natalie Neville-Smith, and Madison Noble.
Thanks largely to the efforts of Kate Brown, PJFC held its first ever Disco at Como Park which was a wonderful success.
This year, thanks to a passionate Jen Gray, we had more structure to our first aid than previously, including the long overdue introduction of a dedicated first aider on Friday nights – Jen’s nephew Gabriel was on hand most nights and I’m sure you’d all agree this was a great initiative. Thank you Jen!
To our Director of Coaching, Wayne Oswald and the Football Operations Committee (Peter Bate, Phil Cullity, Jason Dowd, David Landrigan, Scott Langford, Sophie Torney and Steve Zayler), the General Committee this season (Andrew Chirnside, Jason Dowd, Jason Gough, Jamie Gray, Brad Hyde, Doreen Lai, Madeline O’Connor, Stacey Noble and Sophie Torney).
A special thanks to all 19 teams’ worth of Team Managers, Coaches, Assistant Coaches, the trainers, the timekeepers, goal umpires, umpire escorts, water carriers and the snakes and orange providers.
Thank you also to all of our sponsors; Bed Depot our major sponsor for the 10th year, Crust Armadale, Bob Jane, St Kilda Village Smash Repairs, RT Edgar, Emma & Toms, and newcomers TGI Friday. Stringers, Anna Thomas, Aristacon, Mark Richards architects, Marc Dixon architects, Saving Green, Volvo Cars Brighton (formerly Altitude Volvo), Middys and Baillieu Holst.
But in the end, the people deserving the thank you more than anyone else are the kids. If it weren’t for you, if it weren’t for our desire to provide you an opportunity to develop and learn this great game, none of the fun on Sunday would have happened. You are the reason we spend the time and the effort to do all of this and for that we thank you most of all. It has been our privilege as a club to inspire every child to play their best football.
Prahran Junior Football Club
“Inspiring Every Child to play their best football”
PO Box 1082
Hawksburn VIC 3142
Mobile: 0418 537 973