Media Release

SANFL announces 2023 Hostplus Volunteer of the Year finalists

Pictured above is Heath DeBoo of Willunga Football Club - a finalist in the 2023 Hostplus SANFL Volunteer of the Year Award.

September 26

By SANFL Media

SANFL is pleased to announce the five finalists shortlisted for the 2023 Hostplus SANFL Volunteer of the Year Award.

The outstanding nominees, representing metropolitan and regional clubs across the state and recognised for their significant contribution to grassroots football, are:

Chris Pike – Ingle Farm Football Club

Kellie Grady – Gawler Central Football Club

Chad Fleming – Elliston Football Club

Heath DeBoo – Willunga Football Club

Jason Castleman – Hackham/South Adelaide Football Club.

The five are in the running to be named South Australia’s Hostplus SANFL Volunteer of the Year to be announced at the annual SANFL Community Volunteers awards night at Adelaide Oval on Friday November 3.

Now in its seventh year, the SANFL Hostplus Volunteer of the Year Award aims to highlight those individuals who have provided outstanding voluntary service to community football in South Australia.

SANFL Chief Executive Officer Darren Chandler congratulated the five finalists and everyone who was nominated for their commitment to football in SA.

“The value of volunteers to community football cannot be understated,” Mr Chandler said.

“They enrich our game through their selflessness, encouragement and devotion and many clubs would simply be unable to operate without their contribution.

“This year’s finalists represent not just their clubs but are ambassadors for the thousands of volunteers who occupy every level of our sport and to whom we owe so much.”

Hostplus Chief Executive Officer David Elia said Hostplus takes great pride in recognising the contribution of volunteers through the Hostplus Volunteer of the Year Award.

“On behalf of Hostplus I offer my sincere thanks to all of the volunteers who do so much to ensure footy continues to thrive in local communities in South Australia,” Mr Elia said.

“Whether you are coaching, scoring or serving footy pies in the canteen, every volunteer has an important role to play and makes an invaluable contribution to grassroots football.”

In addition to being awarded the David Shipway AM Medal and a perpetual trophy, the winner will receive the following prizes:

  • A night’s accommodation at The Oval Hotel, including breakfast, following the Awards Dinner
  • A one-night stay for two people at Serafino Winery, McLaren Vale, including a three-course dinner and breakfast. The winner also will be provided with the use of a brand-new luxury Kia vehicle to explore the famous wine region in style during their stay
  • Two x Ultimate Football Memberships, including reserved seats to all AFL home games at Adelaide Oval (excluding finals) in season 2024, valued at approximately $1,600
  • A $200 e-gift voucher (prepaid Mastercard), courtesy of the AFL

2023 Hostplus Volunteer of the Year Finalists

Chris Pike – Ingle Farm Football Club

An invaluable member of Ingle Farm Football Club for 40 years, there are few roles where Chris has not left fingerprints.

Canteen helper, team manager, club treasurer and secretary – her CV runs the gamut of club operations.

The mother of four-time AFL premiership champion Martin Pike, Chris can often be found in her office where generations of players and their families have sought out her advice, guidance and encouragement, earning her the nickname ‘Nanna’.

Chris Pike

Kellie Grady – Gawler Central Football Club

Club secretary and women’s co-ordinator, Kellie is a much-loved club personality whose devotion to Gawler Central has inspired all around her.

She has been part of the club for a decade, the past three years as secretary and in 2022 she took on the role of Women’s Co-ordinator.

She’s at all mid-week training sessions, weekend matches and serves behind the bar on Thursday nights, while juggling regular club administrative duties and her day job as a teacher.

Kellie Grady

Chad Fleming – Elliston Football Club

Treasurer, A-Grade coach, B-Grade team manager, Senior Colts coach, Auskick coach and up until last year, Club President. Chad exemplifies the volunteering spirit that makes club footy possible.

Chad was pivotal in the amalgamation of the Elliston Football Club and Western Districts Football Club in the dissolution of the Mid West Football League and organised entry into the Great Flinders Football League.

His co-ordination of fundraisers and functions has been instrumental in keeping football in the Elliston area.

Chad Fleming

Heath DeBoo – Willunga Football Club

The recent success of Willunga Football Club has much to do with club Vice President Heath DeBoo whose impact on young players has been significant.

Heath has coached across various grades since 2018, and since 2020 has overseen the under-10 boys and under-14 girls team, creating a supporting environment and bringing his football passion to the next crop of emerging talent.

He is a tireless ambassador for the women’s game at a league level and through his role as club delegate for the Greater Southern Football League.

Jason Castleman – Hackham Football Club

Volunteers fulfil a variety of roles, and for Jason that includes coaching young players and being the club’s gameday mascot.

The Hackham stalwart represents the heart and soul of the southern suburbs club rolling his sleeves up and helping through thick and thin.

He is a passionate advocate for junior footy reflected in his coaching roles since 2016, and his elevation to club’s Auskick director in 2019 and to the club’s junior football director in 2021.

When he’s not painting lines on the oval or sizzling sausages, Jason moonlights as South Adelaide Football Club’s mascot Kingston.

Jason Castleman

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