There is an air of excitement as Nelson Bay Football Club looks to reinvent itself through a change in culture to a more family friendly, inclusive club with an emphasis on grassroots football.
Last month the club elected a new committee of 12, a mixture of new and experienced men and women to be presided over by first-time president, Ben Reynolds.
Ben’s wife Rebecca is the new canteen manager and assistant secretary to Nadina Potter.
She is passionate about introducing ‘a healthy mind, healthy body’ initiative through the hugely successful Good Sports program.
Nelson Bay has also appointed Martine Shaw as the club’s female participation officer with the objective to promote awareness about girls/women’s football.
Despite not having a footballing background, Reynolds is under no illusions about what is required to lift the profile of the Tomaree peninsula’s largest sporting club in terms of numbers.
Last year the club had more than 550 players registered in 53 teams from under-6s to seniors.
“I have a three-point plan to help transform Nelson Bay football into a more visible, family friendly, inclusive and fun club for everyone to enjoy,” he said.
“The key areas of improvement are community spirit, which includes getting our members out into the schools and increasing female participation; coaching and player development, with more come and try days as well as continuing such successful events as the Newcastle Jets coaching clinics; and health and inclusion, which involves Good Sports and encouraging our senior players to spend more time with the juniors and providing clear pathways.”
Reynolds said that the changes would be introduced steadily over a three-year period.
“I believe we have the right people on the committee to build on these strategies and implement them over time,” he said.
“The club’s coaches and managers have shown a willingness to offer their support with the development program starting in 2019.
“We also want to be seen as an all-inclusive club, which welcomes players of all abilities and their families. And of course it has to be fun for everyone.”
The club is hoping to field teams in 2019 in MiniRoos (under-6 to 11), competition under- 12 to 18 (boys and girls), All Age women and men, over-35s and Zone Football League (first and reserve grades).