Teary farewell for stalwart
POPULAR netball stalwart Carolyn Miller had trouble holding back the tears when choked with emotion yesterday.
But temporarily losing her voice showed how much the tribute meant.
At a surprise presentation at the Ipswich Indoor Sports Centre, the long-serving indoor netball official was thanked for her efforts after recently retiring.
Despite 20 years of outstanding service, Miller didn’t expect a retirement send-off. However, she appreciated the hugs of support and kind words from many midweek ladies competition players, officials and colleagues who gathered to wish her well.
“I’m so overwhelmed by it all. It’s really lovely from all the teams and all the girls,” Miller said, needing a drink to get her voice back.
State and Australian over-30 indoor honorary player Theresa Stolberg was also teary as she described Miller as an ally, like a best friend.
“Mrs Miller is a friend to everyone, whether you’re a player or not,” Stolberg said.
“She’s very good at not just knowing you at netball, but your family and your situation.
“It’s emotional because she’s been involved for so long and it would be hard for her too.
“It’s not going to be the same without her here.”
Long-time player and Amberley District State School teacher Sheree Dempsey organised the surprise send-off.
“When I had my children 20 years ago, Carolyn was there nursing the baby while I was playing netball,” Dempsey said.
“She’s that sort of lady, very caring and dedicated and loves the opportunity to see mums continue playing sport.
“The presentation was to say thank you because she’s always looked after the kids and organised the babysitting and the trophies and morning teas and all that sort of thing for us.”
For more than two decades at the indoor centre, Miller performed a number of important roles, heavily focused on development.
She started the mid-week ladies and junior competitions, as well as selecting Super League teams and coaching umpires.
“It’s administration and being there for the girls and all their different needs,” Miller said of her diverse job.
However, she decided to retire after contemplating her future during the recent break.
“This Christmas I didn’t have the inclination so I thought it was time to go,” she said, turning her attention to other passions like quilting and family.
“It’s been wonderful memories.”