Football, better known as Aussie Rules in Victoria is a vital part of many local communities come winter time.
The Northcote Junior Football Club (NJFC) with a history dating back to the early 1960’s is one of the many junior football clubs around the state.
The Club is an “all-volunteer, community-based junior football club that caters for families from Northcote, Thornbury, Fairfield and surrounding suburbs,” says Ann-Maree Duncan, Secretary of NJFC.
NJFC, based at McDonnell Park in Northcote, plays in the Northern Football League “which extends north/north-west as far as Wallan, Whittlesea and Panton Hill,” says Ann-Maree.
Not only does NJFC support children to learn and play footy, they provide the environment to learn values such as discipline, respect and teamwork, build fitness and create lasting friendships.
Ann-Maree explains: “NJFC is an incorporated association, and is governed by a voluntary committee of management elected annually by members. Our club values of participation, respect, team and growth are reflected in the way our teams play and by the decisions we make as a club.”
As with all community based amateur sport clubs, the junior football club relies entirely on volunteers working within a structure governed by the club constitution.
The dedication and support of volunteers drawn from families and members get the Club’s teams out on the park each week of each season.
“We have around 12 volunteers on the committee or in other administrative roles, and around 30 coaches, assistant coaches and team managers. As well as this, on match days we need a further 60 volunteers just to get our teams onto the field,” said Ann-Maree.
“These outstanding people have ongoing roles from pre-season in February right through to the end of the season in August, and are the public face of the club. We could not support so many teams on the field without their generous donation of time and skills. The committee members are less visible but put in a lot of work year round,” she explains.
Specific skills have also assisted NJFC in making, as Ann-Maree explains, “improvements into the running and operation of the club. This has enabled us to restructure our website, renovate facilities, develop strategic and business plans, and increase our sponsorship revenue.”
“It is a lot of people to have to call on, and we are very reliant on and grateful for the help and support of our volunteers,” Ann-Maree concluded.
Click here to find out more about Northcote Junior Football Club, including their fantastic and dedicated team of volunteer coaches and team managers.
This story was written by volunteer writer Anna Cairo.