Whether he’s coaching Community League, managing a venue for the McDonald’s Kanga Cup, contributing at Capital Football’s strategic planning nights or wielding the tongs in the canteen, Monaro Panthers Junior League and U18 Girls coach Anthony Blake is the sort of volunteer that clubs dream of finding.
Anthony has been part of the Monaro Panthers Football Club for 13 years with his two children, starting in MiniRoos and progressing through to U18s. For the past eleven years he has coached and managed Premier League and Community League teams within the club, and is also a member of the club’s Committee, who he describes as “professional, positive, passionate and friendly in everything they do.”
For Anthony, volunteering with the club has been its own reward.
“At first I volunteered to help out so that things got done. Then I volunteered to spend more time with my kids and show them that you can do things for others without expecting payment or a reward,” he said.
“The truth though, is that volunteering is its’ own reward. Spending time with like-minded individuals and achieving goals is what it’s all about.
“Hopefully I can inspire a new generation of volunteers to carry on these roles in the future.”
Anthony’s players are indeed following his lead – several volunteer in the canteen on Saturday mornings, and were a part of the Panthers’ Kanga Cup team of volunteers.
“Seeing them volunteer and get enjoyment out of the experience makes it all worthwhile,” Anthony added.
Anthony is a strong advocate for women’s football in the region.
“This year I was the coach of the U18 Girls Community League Team,” he said.
“I want to see [women’s football] expand and develop. We have been together for two years and are a family as much as a team.”
He also coached the Karabar High School U15 and Open Girls Teams, and both Teams made it through to the Semi-Finals.
“We had some great times at training and on road trips to various games throughout the region,” he said.
As the club’s Junior League Coordinator, Anthony works with the coaches and managers to ensure the smooth running of trials and grading, training and games, and to maintain a consistency of skill development through all teams.
“It is great to work with existing and new people to help them become better coaches and managers,” Anthony remarked.
He admits that volunteering can be hard work.
“Being a volunteer is a tough job,” he said. “The hours can be long and the work tiring. But there is nothing else you can do that is more important than making a difference in someone’s life.
“Sporting clubs are a critical part of educating our young people and keeping them healthy. Most clubs only exist because of the volunteers that run them.
“Whether people can only give 10 minutes or an hour, that time will make a difference in someone’s life.”
Congratulations Anthony from Capital Chemist and Capital Football on your well-deserved win.