Paige Jensen has been a part of Tuggeranong United Football Club for thirteen years, when her eldest child began playing at age 5.
“Tuggies is a lovely local family club,” she said. “They’ve always encouraged inclusion and a love of the game. The older kids have both been given opportunity to develop and have been encouraged and developed pursue football at the highest level they can. I love seeing that option afforded to these boys if they wish while still valuing those who just want to play and compete for fun.”
At the start of the season Tuggeranong United’s Under 12s team was left with no coach or manager and not enough players.
“Paige took it upon herself to find more players to create a team,” said her anonymous nominator. “She also took on the role of coach and manager. She then started helping the Under 14s team out as they did not have enough players. If it wasn’t for Paige there would be 20 plus boys not playing football this year.”
Paige juggled players around to ensure that each team could run out on a Saturday, and started helping the club plan for the future.
“It didn’t seem fair [that the boys might not be able to play] and it just wasn’t an option to quit, especially if you have kids willing to get up off the couch a few times a week to learn and play,” Paige said. “What I love about these kids is their willingness to try, their sense of fun and their love of playing. They play for one another. No one really expected this team to do overly well, but I’m proud to say they’ve come away with a few wins – they play in the spirit of the game, win, lose or draw and that’s the most important thing (it’s very special to watch).”
One of Paige’s fondest memories of her time with TUFC exemplifies the spirit of the Club.
“It was a freezing training night when a casual cross bar challenge developed while waiting for everyone to turn up. Eventually all the players had hit the cross bar but one. He wasn’t going to give up. As each boy realised that their teammate was digging in for the challenge, they all began setting up balls for him, encouraging and giving advice and support. I think this player must have kicked 200 balls and it did take a lot of time. When he finally hit the crossbar, the whole team reacted like they’d just won the world cup – it was a lovely moment, topped off by the coach saying, ‘now THAT’s what this is all about’.”
Would Paige recommend volunteering?
“Absolutely yes! It’s an old idea but the value of giving back to something bigger than yourself is a rewarding one. I value our community and, even though it’s a small one, clubs like TUFC are an integral part of this community. For me it represents an opportunity to learn, grow and enjoy a team sport together.”
Congratulations Paige from Capital Chemist and Capital Football on your well-deserved win.