Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association life member Darryl O'Sullivan. Picture: Sarah Harvey
Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association life member Darryl O'Sullivan. Picture: Sarah Harvey

City’s top 55 officials: Quality and commitment

THE responsibilities of being a sporting official are diverse and varied, with multiple challenges along the way.

The Ipswich region has been fortunate to have so many high quality officials who have conquered the hurdles before them and found new ways of taking their respective sports forward.

Ipswich has some of Queensland's most loyal and fiercely proud people, all doing a tremendous job in tough times.

After revealing choices 55-41 yesterday, the countdown continues today.

 

 

40. Chris Williams (greyhound racing/rugby league)

STILL an avid rugby league fan these days, Williams can reflect on his time overseeing an outstanding period in Ipswich's greyhound development.

He set the standard in marketing greyhound racing when he served as an energetic administrator, fiercely protective of his racing community.

Williams was a secretary/manager, club vice-president and president of the Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club at the Ipswich Showgrounds.

Still a familiar face around town, the English-born official retains a straight-talking approach to getting sport promoted.

Nicknamed Welder, he helped turn the club from being $38,000 in debt to a $67,000 profit.

In 1987, Williams launched an innovative $60,000 puppy auction series that put Ipswich on the racing map. More than 30 years later, the series continues to attract national attention being one of Australia's most successful concepts.

The 1966 Bulimba Cup footballer was later appointed to the Queensland Racing Control Board.

The former club secretary/manager fulfilled his last role at the club in 2000 after 18 years of greyhound service.

He has also served in official capacities with the Ipswich Jets rugby league club.

 

Former Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club president and innovator Chris Williams. Picture: QT file
Former Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club president and innovator Chris Williams. Picture: QT file

39. Dan Burnell (soccer)

DURING a highly successful four-year stint with Western Pride FC, Burnell was the man doing impressive work behind the scenes.

Pride's operations manager previously helped develop regional football with the Ipswich City Bulls before working with the city's National Premier Leagues club.

The team-minded official played an important role in Pride's historic 2017 NPL grand final victory at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.

Burnell often put the players through their warm-up paces before state league matches, adding to the professional standards implemented by head coach Graham Harvey.

He also contributed on a weekly basis with match planning, motivation and looking after the team's logistical needs.

https://www.qt.com.au/news/dedicated-dan-starts-new-crusade-to-develop-footba/3466412/

Among two of Burnell's most satisfying achievements were helping the Western Pride senior team prepare for a match against the New Zealand men's side. That was the first visit of an international team in decades.

Having considerable experience through his travel industry work, Burnell also co-ordinated the team's off-season trip to Japan, after Pride won their first NPL grand final.

"Japan was hugely beneficial for our players in lots of ways,'' he said. "It was an opportunity for the boys to experience football in another culture.''

In many regards, Burnell was the steadying influence and strategist complementing his head coach and loyal manager Darryl Christensen.

The former West Moreton College Anglican student drew on his many years experience working with Ipswich club sides.

"At this level, players have come through various systems and it's really important to have habits, routines and structures,'' Burnell said.

"We went on this really amazing run, winning the grand final, and we developed and adapted this particular routine that works and the players enjoyed it.

"We talk about buzz words such as energy, intensity and responsibility and words that mean something to the group.''

 

Former Western Pride operations manager Dan Burnell with his partner Sarah, their beautiful daughter Clementine and dog Hiccup.
Former Western Pride operations manager Dan Burnell with his partner Sarah, their beautiful daughter Clementine and dog Hiccup.

38. Terry Lindeberg (basketball)

WHEN it comes to developing junior players, Lindeberg's contribution is up with the best.

Apart from his many administrative roles, including a stint as Ipswich Basketball Association president, Lindeberg has coached several young representative sides to state championship glory.

Being honoured with a 2018 Basketball Queensland award for his service to the sport was fitting acknowledgement for Lindeberg.

He has served Ipswich for more than four decades, playing pivotal roles in nurturing regional talent from players under-8 to state league level.

He previously won Queensland recognition for his coaching endeavours, having guided Ipswich under-16 and under-18 girls to undefeated success at state titles.

https://www.qt.com.au/news/check-out-ipswichs-fastest-growing-association/3428715/

Lindeberg has also been a junior competitions organiser, club delegate and an executive member of Ipswich Basketball's management committee.

As a "shaker and mover'' in the sport, he has contributed to significant changes and improvements at the Ipswich stadium, especially after the devastation of the 2011 floods.

In recent seasons, Lindeberg has supported his junior development work as an assistant coach with Ipswich's state league teams.

 

Ipswich stalwart Terry Lindeberg received a Basketball Queensland Service to Sport award for his 45 year contribution.
Ipswich stalwart Terry Lindeberg received a Basketball Queensland Service to Sport award for his 45 year contribution.

37. Darryl O'Sullivan (cricket)

THE Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association life member has shared his many talents in a variety of roles.

The team-minded and versatile official has maintained a strong cricketing presence since his time as Australian masters indoor cricket captain.

The Whyte Family clubhouse at Mark Marsh Oval is where he spends countless hours every summer with strong ties to his current club Centrals.

The same can be said for the Ivor Marsden Memorial Sports Centre at Amberley - Ipswich cricket's headquarters.

O'Sullivan was on the IWMCA board from 1989-93 and from 2005 to the present.

He started playing church cricket for Silkstone and church soccer for Blackstone Welsh in the early 1970s before rising through the ranks in indoor cricket. The 2000 Australian Sports Medal recipient reached state under-21 level in cricket before his international stint in masters indoor competition.

https://www.qt.com.au/news/life-membership-rich-reward/1987664/

The Ipswich sportsman was also a state and honorary national coach, winning Queensland titles at Brassall Sportsworld before its closure.

He proudly recalls winning 13 national titles as an indoor cricket player, finishing his career at the Ipswich Showgrounds in 2001.

His cricket playing career included Ipswich representative honours and IWMCA premierships in 1987-88 and 1990-91.

The challenging world of cricket administration followed.

His main roles have included as senior points recorder, club representative duties and on the IWMCA board.

O'Sullivan has served on a number of selection panels for open and under-19 teams at SEQ, South Queensland and Queensland Country level.

He is also a groundsman and respected umpire, having been on the management committee since 2010.

The experienced official offered a simple reason for being a proud Ipswichian.

"The quality of people. The people you get to know," he said.

"There's a lot of good people behind a lot of organisations that put in a lot of hard work.

"Their dedication to the sports is what you admire."

 

Among his many achievements, Darryl O'Sullivan received a life membership to the Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association. Picture: Sarah Harvey
Among his many achievements, Darryl O'Sullivan received a life membership to the Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association. Picture: Sarah Harvey

 

36. Murray Rogers (multiple sports)

THE long-serving Ipswich official keeps busy in retirement enjoying water sports.

However, the former primary school sports administrator remains a humble achiever, grateful for being acknowledged in the recent top 35 coaches series.

"I'm a cog in the system,'' Rogers said, looking back on his extensive work as a convenor and co-ordinator, largely in charge of Ipswich District Primary School Sport.

"I'm the same as the Les Kinnanes, the Desie Taege and all those others.

"I did my job. I did it to the best of my ability.

"I'll be the first to admit I did some things well. I probably did some things that I would do differently next time.

"I didn't invent the wheel. I just kept rolling it down the hill.''

However, Rogers is proud of the part he played over 25 years. He knows without proper co-ordination at grassroots level, school sport would fall over.

He remembers days when kids played sport in bare feet or put exercise books down the front of their socks playing soccer because they didn't have any shin pads.

Rogers said that's why teachers are so dedicated - "for the interests of kids and because kids want to play''.

"The underlying thing is the kids don't change. Kids are still kids and they love to play sport.''

Rogers was a former teacher was president and secretary/treasurer at district level, along with his many coaching, co-ordination and committee commitments.

Before retiring after his longest stints at the Bundamba and Central schools, he had been a delegate to the Queensland State Schools Sports Council.

About 6000 students from 25 state and independent schools were involved in regular Friday afternoon sport Rogers often oversaw.

His many roles were honoured at Central State School where a sporting field was named after him in 2015.

 

After decades of service former Ipswich Central State School teacher Murray Rogers received a guard of honour from students. Picture: Rob Williams
After decades of service former Ipswich Central State School teacher Murray Rogers received a guard of honour from students. Picture: Rob Williams

35. Anthony Breeze (rugby league)

THE Rugby League Ipswich board member plays a vital role in keeping a tradition-rich sport moving forward.

Bomber, as he's popularly known, is a quiet achiever. With a background as a sports administrator at the Ipswich Indoor Sports Centre, he has a vast knowledge of many disciplines.

Bomber is fiercely loyal and always positive about promoting sport in our great city.

He is also a recognisable face around town, supporting the terrific work he does helping and promoting the efforts of others.

His commitment as an official or with clubs spans more than two decades.

He is regularly on the sidelines or in the ground announcer's box assisting with the different roles required of officialdom during an afternoon of rugby league matches.

https://www.qt.com.au/news/valuable-ipswich-people-have-star-quality/4045090/

Bomber said becoming a RLI board member would help him take a more hands-on approach to keeping the competition he loves running smoothly.

"I just love rugby league and love being involved,'' he said.

"Being across what is going on, keeping up to date. Rugby league is my number one passion.''

Bomber was secretary of the former Ipswich Rugby League for 10 years after five years on the management committee.

However, the constant has been Bomber's extensive local knowledge.

He has recently been showcasing the achievements of other fine Ipswich sportspeople through his regular column in The Queensland Times.

He also works as a volunteer on West Bremer Radio.

 

Ipswich sports fanatic Anthony 'Bomber' Breeze has fulfilled many important roles, including working on the Rugby League Ipswich board. Picture: Rob Williams
Ipswich sports fanatic Anthony 'Bomber' Breeze has fulfilled many important roles, including working on the Rugby League Ipswich board. Picture: Rob Williams

 

34. Todd Hunt (soccer)

BEING someone always on the go, Hunt has played a leading role in the development of regional football.

He was a key figure in setting up Football Ipswich, holding senior executive roles after a strong association with the Ipswich Knights club.

With vast experience in club development and strategic plans, the Football Ipswich president adopted a broader focus, assisted by other dedicated people such as Kym Wickstein, Pat Boyle, James Buchanan, Wendy Spencer and Liz Ridley.

Football Ipswich was established as a body representing local clubs and Western Pride was born in 2012 as a National Premier Leagues organisation serving the western corridor.

The hugely beneficial work started in the years before Pride officially kicked off its 2013 season at the North Ipswich Reserve.

Backed by Ipswich City Council, and especially sports boss David Morrison, Western Pride won the right to play in the-then Australian Premier League, before the name was changed to its current NPL structure.

Hunt was inaugural vice chairman, working with other successful business people like new club chairman Wickstein.

Hunt later took over as chairman before Wickstein assumed the role again.

https://www.qt.com.au/news/how-ipswich-created-a-successful-football-franchis/3218172/

Despite some early resistance, Football Ipswich was formed as the official entity to pursue a state league licence. Representatives from the leading regional catchment clubs - the Ipswich Knights, Ipswich City Bulls, Western Spirit, Colleges United and Springfield United - offered people to share in the decision-making process.

Buchanan had earlier done some fantastic work trying to build co-operation through QT Cup pre-season competitions between regional teams.

Presentations were made around the local clubs and at venues like the Ipswich Girls' Grammar School to share the vision that Ipswich football could build a club capable of being a force in a state league competition.

This included senior men's and women's teams, along with junior boys and girls' sides, with a focus on development and building an elite pathway.

Hunt said the biggest challenge in Pride's early days was "trying to get all the clubs on board.''

However, Hunt was proud of the collective effort Western Pride has made in "putting Ipswich football back on the map''.

The senior men's historic 2017 NPL grand final victory was a highlight and proud moment for those like Hunt, who defied the doubters it could be done in Ipswich.

 

Regional football adminstrator Todd Hunt (left) was part of Western Pride’s first executive team also including secretary Wendy Spencer, vice-chairman James Buchanan and chairman Kym Wickstein. Picture: Claudia Baxter
Regional football adminstrator Todd Hunt (left) was part of Western Pride’s first executive team also including secretary Wendy Spencer, vice-chairman James Buchanan and chairman Kym Wickstein. Picture: Claudia Baxter

 

33. Greg Donnelly (indoor cricket)

DURING his extensive career as an Ipswich indoor sporting official, self-confessed sports fanatic Donnelly was a fine advocate for the city.

"I think sport should be represented at the highest level, whatever it is,'' Donnelly said.

"People underestimate the strength and size and power of Ipswich.

"I've been telling people for 25 years what we've got. We are good enough.''

And so was Donnelly in leading the development of indoor cricket for many years in Queensland, Australia and overseas.

Apart from overseeing multiple state teams and major tournaments from his Ipswich Indoor Sports Centre base, Donnelly worked his way to the highest level.

He was appointed president of Indoor Cricket Australia and president of the World Indoor Cricket Association, performing key roles at World Cup tournaments.

That included playing a leading role in organising the 2009 World Cup.

The former representative player and coach also oversaw the merger of indoor cricket with cricket in Australia.

https://www.qt.com.au/news/qld-cricket-forces-merge/481111/

Working at the highest level with people like former Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland and CA chairman Jack Clarke, Donnelly helped Australia become the first country to achieve such a relationship between the indoor and outdoor games.

"Since our merger with Cricket Australia, the credibility we've gained, the momentum the sport has gained and infrastructure is just going to continually get bigger and bigger and bigger,'' Donnelly said at the time.

At the Ipswich Indoor Sports Centre, he helped elevate state men's and women's sides to the best in the country.

In 2017, Donnelly was inducted into the Indoor Cricket Hall of Fame. Donnelly currents co-owns the Arundel Indoor Sports Centre on the Gold Coast.

 

International official and sporting allrounder Greg Donnelly.
International official and sporting allrounder Greg Donnelly.

 

32. Keith Self (golf/racing/motorsport)

THE self-confessed "diehard'' Ipswich administrator lived by the motto "life's too short''.

That's why he packed so much into his day, featuring a "fast and furious'' business and sporting focus.

The former international precision car stunt driver has tackled just about everything in sport, including playing league and hockey, racing karts and rally cars, and being a boxer and swimmer.

Self also worked in countless jobs ranging from Telecom to the airforce, selling and fixing cars to plumbing and driving trucks.

The registered builder even ran a bar and restaurant called Waltzing Matilda in Bali.

But it was in golf where he made one of his most important contributions.

The former Sandy Golf Club general manager played a major role in establishing the successful club at Churchill.

When the former Ipswich Turf Club official entered in the scene in 1996, the tradition-rich Sandy Gallop club had been renamed Ipswich Country Club and was in receivership.

With experience in real estate, Self made an offer to buy the troubled club which was losing $20,000 a month.

The rescue offer was accepted after 18 other bidders withdrew.

"It was a pretty big gamble,'' Self recalls. "There was a lot of older members, particularly the ladies, crying with the shutting down of the club.''

Being retired and still keen to live every day as it comes, the former Ipswich State High School student used his free time to revitalise the important golfing club.

Once the financial issues were resolved, the first thing Self did was rename the club "Sandy Gallop'', which it remains now with a healthy membership base.

 

The upbeat Keith Self with friend Karen McAnnanny (Benner) at a school reunion.
The upbeat Keith Self with friend Karen McAnnanny (Benner) at a school reunion.

 

31. Christine and Matt Denkel (softball)

ALWAYS busy but ever-reliable, the husband and wife team live and breathe softball.

They have contributed immensely to the sport in Ipswich, around the state and for Softball Australia. That included being appointed scorers at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Both received their Ipswich Softball Association life membership badges in 1998.

In 2013, Christine was honoured at the Queensland Sports Awards, receiving a Service to Sport accolade for her commitment.

She has been involved as a volunteer softball administrator and statistician for more than 35 years, giving her time to all levels of the game including community club, regional association, state and national events.

She started at a club level in 1986, taking on the first of many administration roles for the Ipswich Musketeers Softball Club.

She has been an active member, holding the positions of treasurer and management committee member.

https://www.qt.com.au/news/dedicated-volunteer-receives-state-award/2112290/

During her career, Christine has held official statistician positions at multiple national events, as well as the 2001 Junior Men's World Championships in Sydney.

She was a key member of the Softball Queensland Scoring Technical Directorate.

A major moment in her career was being appointed as a team statistician to the Australian under-19 men's team in 2007. The team went on to win gold at the 2008 Youth World Championships.

Matt has shared Christine's journey, also being a highly respected official.

He has been a tournament chief umpire at state championships and a Softball Queensland State Director of Coaching.

He was recognised by Metropolitan West School Sport in 2018 for his 25 years service.

At Ipswich and regional level, the couple have held senior management positions since 1988.

Christine has been a team manager or scorer for Ipswich softball representative teams for more than three decades.

"Christine's commitment and dedication to the sport of softball is phenomenal,'' Softball Queensland general manager Sue Nisbet said after her state award.

"She has given thousands of hours not just to the game but to the people involved.''

Matt has made his mark at all levels in a similar fashion.

 

Highly-regarded Ipswich and Queensland softball officials Christine and Matt Denkel.
Highly-regarded Ipswich and Queensland softball officials Christine and Matt Denkel.

 

30. Geoff and Stella Barclay (athletics)

THE Bundamba husband and wife team shared in one of the city's most significant sporting achievements at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

With strong ties to the Ipswich and District Athletic Club, they were highly regarded for their track and field skills, mainly as chief judges.

Geoff died in 2015, aged 72. Stella still resides at Bundamba.

Apart from the Olympics, they also officiated together at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in addition to many state and national championships.

"He was a man who was very strong on that everything went by the rules,'' long-serving Ipswich official Des Johnston said of Geoff after his funeral. "He was an excellent official.''

Geoff and Stella regularly travelled together to officiate at major competitions.

Geoff, a former banker, worked at Ipswich City Council as a team leader for rates/property for many years after joining council in 1973.

At the Sydney Olympics, Geoff was chief judge for throws, responsible for managing all the officials under his control.

"He was one step above the national officials here in Australia, the top of the tree in Australia,'' Johnston said. "He could officiate as a referee at international meets.

"He was a man who was highly regarded within our officials community and also by the athletes.''

https://www.qt.com.au/news/ipswich-loses-respected-international-official/2806701/

Geoff and Stella were married at the Sacred Heart Church, Booval, in 1967, continuing their wonderful athletics journey together for the decades that followed.

They started their roles as officials at the Ipswich and District Athletic Club in 1982.

Ipswich and District Athletic Club president Vic Pascoe also coached Geoff and Stella's daughter Patricia, a talented long jumper and hurdler.

Geoff started his work at the Ipswich Little Athletics Centre in the 1980s. He was centre manager at one stage before his regular work on senior club committees.

Geoff was involved with national competitions since the early 1990s.

He was appointed a chief judge for throws for the 1992 Brisbane Grand Prix and national championships the following year.

His extensive career also included stints at the World Junior Championships (1996) and World Masters Games in 1994.

As Stella knew better than anyone, Geoff rated one of his personal strengths as the "ability not to panic''.

"When things are going tough, it's just a matter of saying: 'okay, let's take this on board' and 'do what we have to do to fix the problem','' he said.

Stella shared the same wonderful qualities.

 

Ipswich chief judges Stella and Geoff Barclay at the Sydney Olympics.
Ipswich chief judges Stella and Geoff Barclay at the Sydney Olympics.

 

Tomorrow: The countdown continues



FIFO dad on final warning before jail

premium_icon FIFO dad on final warning before jail

Court hears man charged with disqualified driving has shocking history while behind...

New bush kindy wants to take learning back to nature

premium_icon New bush kindy wants to take learning back to nature

The owner believes it's the only nature immersion kindy in the area.

Future unclear for these Independent Public Schools

premium_icon Future unclear for these Independent Public Schools

At least ten local schools are part of the IPS program but that could all change...