Gungahlin United’s Tanya Katsoulis has been awarded the Summerland Football Club Hero of the Month award for June, having been recognised for her tireless contributions to not only Gungahlin United but the football community in general.
Katsoulis is someone that many people in local football will recognise: an ever-present at Gungahlin United matches and grounds, cooking up a storm in the canteen and feeding the hungry masses across an entire day of NPL or NPLW action.
Her whole family is involved in football, with Tanya’s two sons both making their mark on the sport, locally and on the bigger stage too.
“My son Nicholas is a goalkeeper in the U/16 Premier League,” she said.
“And my eldest Mikey signed with the Central Coast Mariners recently, so that was a great achievement for him.”
A normal day on the weekend for Tanya begins at around 5:30am, and wraps up at about 6pm as the action finishes for the day and she packs up to head home.
Gungahlin United’s Director of Premier League Neil Harlock was full of praise for the role Tanya plays within the club.
“I have only been at the club a short while, but everyone I speak to has nothing but praise for the outstanding work Tanya has put into GUFC over the years across many roles,” he said.
“She is a fantastic role model for local football clubs in the Canberra Region.”
Her involvement is not limited just to Gungahlin either, with Tanya lending a helping hand to the Canberra United Academy program this year as well.
“I have been running the canteen for the Academy on weekends to help out with the women’s winter program and that has been really rewarding,” she said.
“My kids have been a part of the Academy program for a long time so I wanted to give something back through helping out.”
“Mikey was involved in the Capital Football and Canberra United Academy structure since he was nine and that was very rewarding for him.”
Whilst the weekends are hard work, Tanya said it was nice to be recognised, but also said she enjoys setting a good example at the club.
“I was really surprised,” she said, “but I’m really grateful that my peers at the club are recognising my hard work so it [the award] is really wonderful.”
“The days go quickly, because we’re busy and we have a lot of young teenagers who work with us and help out, learning valuable skills like customer service and helping others.”
“We have to set a good example, and volunteering helps their club to achieve its goals and grow.”