In the third of a series of articles on the finalists in the 2023 Hostplus SANFL Volunteer of the Year Award, we find out more about Jason Castleman, AKA Kingston the South Adelaide mascot, and his dedication to the Hackham Football Club.
By JORDAN ROUTLEY
Described as the “heart and soul” of the Hackham Football Club, there isn’t much that Jason Castleman hasn’t done to assist the club in re-building its junior ranks.
Jason is a passionate advocate for local junior footy, reflected in his coaching roles since 2016, and his elevation to club Auskick co-ordinator in 2019 and to the Hawks’ junior football director role in 2021.
But he also doesn’t mind taking on any task that’s required, from goal umpiring to marking lines on the oval.
“If I see something that needs to happen around the club then I’m quite happy to get it done,” he says.
With Hackham in a re-building phase in its junior ranks, Jason even takes time out of his work as a stonemason to visit local schools to help recruit young players to the club.
In addition to his Auskick role and as junior director, which sees him manage the entire junior development program, he also serves as the delegate to the Southern Football League.
“I just like the atmosphere and helping support my local club,” he said.
“I see it as a responsibility to put my hand up and help the club and while I’m still needed I’ll do as much as I can.
“I love seeing the families come in and the happy faces when we get together for a meal on Friday nights or after games.
“To see that the kids have a place to run around and have fun kicking the footy is what it’s all about.”
And if his devotion to the Hackham Football Club isn’t enough, Jason is also known as the much-loved ‘Kingston’ the South Adelaide Football Club mascot, so when he’s not at the Hackham footy club, you’ll find him entertaining fans and cheering on the Panthers’ at Flinders University Stadium.
Jason has taken charge of Kingston for the past five years and also suited up in costume for every City-Bay Fun Run since 2018 as part of his outstanding fundraising efforts for the Sammy D Foundation, which partners with South Adelaide Football Club in support of youth violence prevention.
It is a job Jason relishes and takes great pride in, trying to appear in the Kingston costume whenever he can.
“I make sure I stay for the entire game day for (South Adelaide) men’s and women’s games,” Jason said.
“I know there are also elderly and disabled people who can’t get out of their cars (to watch the footy), so I also make sure I go and visit them.
“I love to have a kick and catch on the oval and get involved in that as well.”
Jason 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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