Steadfast volunteer gets football coach of the year award1 min readReading Time: < 1 minute
One of Onehunga Sports Football Club’s most loyal members has just received recognition for her tireless work for the club, and in particular its juniors. In November, Jannine Stewart was named as the McDonalds Community Football Coach of the Year for Northern Region Football, which covers the Auckland and Northland Provinces.
The award came as a complete surprise to Jannine, who was in Tasmania when the announcement was made and only found out when her phone was flooded with messages of congratulations from friends. “My first reaction was wondering if it was true,” she says.
Club president, Mark Lythe, says the award is long overdue, as Jannine is one of the club’s most steadfast members. “She is one of the first to turn up every week and usually the last to leave.”
Jannine has been part of Onehunga Sports since the 1990’s, when her two eldest children joined the club. At that time, Onehunga Sports was based at Fergusson Park, but not long after joining she was fundraising to finance the club’s move to Waikaraka Park.
After the move to Waikaraka Park in the early 2000’s, Jannine got her bar manager’s license, helped run the kitchen and cleaned the clubrooms. She also opens and locks up the club for other users. In addition, she is now the club’s juniors manager.
Last season, Jannine was organising 26 junior teams and one youth team, and she was the coach of three teams and co-coach of another. On top of all this, she still turned out for the club’s Division Three Epic Ladies team.
Jannine claims she has been trying to retire from playing for the last few seasons, but she just cannot say no when the team is short.