Community Footy

Ingle Farm FC’s Chris Pike the epitome of volunteering

Chris Pike - a finalist in the Hostplus SANFL Volunteer of the Year Award - has served the Ingle Farm Football Club for more than 40 years.

In the second of a series of articles on the finalists in the 2023 Hostplus SANFL Volunteer of the Year Award, we find out more about the outstanding contribution of one of the stalwarts of Ingle Farm Football Club, Chris Pike.


Normally a four-time AFL premiership player would be the undisputed hero of their local football club, but former AFL star Martin Pike has some serious competition for that mantle in his mum, Chris.

Chris Pike has been a loyal and much-loved volunteer at the Ingle Farm Football Club for more than 40 years, serving as club secretary and treasurer for the past 24 years.

Perhaps Chris’ most important role over the years is one beyond definition or description – the person who holds the club together and rolls up her sleeves for whatever needs to be done, from canteen duty and sponsorship to team managing or coaching.

Chris’ boundless passion for the club is drawn from her ongoing desire to provide an environment for kids to play and enjoy their football, with Ingle Farm Junior FC playing in the National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors competition.

“When I got involved in the club, they were going to shut the doors because they were in debt, but I wanted those doors kept open for the kids so they had somewhere to keep playing,” Chris said.

Her nurturing of the club’s junior players has earned her the nickname ‘Nanna’.

“I feel like a grandma to them and I think a lot of them see me as a nanna of sorts.”

Part of her commitment to the junior players is ensuring Ingle Farm Football Club fields a team to experience playing in a mini-league game at North Adelaide FC’s Prospect Oval, as well as an AFL half-time match at Adelaide Oval, every year.

Undoubtedly the most famous junior product from the club is her son, Martin, who still follows the club closely despite living in Melbourne.

“He always keeps a keen eye on what we’re doing and how we’re going,” says Chris of Martin, who’s remarkable AFL career included a premiership with North Melbourne and three with Brisbane.

Watching Martin move through the ranks and eventually play in four AFL premiership sides was a very proud experience for Chris, although always a nervous one.

“It was very nerve-racking sitting there watching…I felt like I’d been out there playing by the end of it,” she said.

On top of her many responsibilities at the football club, Chris is also kept busy runs her own business, Northern Hydraulic Service.

As for the future, Chris wants to stay involved at Ingle Farm for as long as possible.

“I am getting up in age but I want to keep going for as long as I can.”

Chris is one of five finalists for the 2023 Hostplus SANFL Volunteer of the Year award, with the winner to be announced at the annual SANFL Community Volunteers awards night at Adelaide Oval on November 3.

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