Meet Graham Goodwin
Affiliate: Taree Touch Association, NSW
When did you first get involved with Touch Football?
I first started playing back in 1981 in the Parramatta Touch competition. The games were played on Sunday mornings and it was a great way to keep the fitness levels up. After I had moved up the coast to Taree I started playing and refereeing in the Taree Touch competition, eventually joining the committee to help out, and in 2003 the outgoing President spoke to me and recommended I become the next President of the Association as he believed I had the makings of a good leader within the sport and the town. Since then I have enjoyed every minute of the President's role. It allows me to give back to the community, assist the committee with their specific roles and help out with bits and pieces within the Association, whether that be in the canteen or coaching.
What improvements and initiatives have you seen at Taree Touch Association during your time?
During my time at Taree we have really looked to improve our coaching methods. We have all coaches on the same page and ensure there is fairness with selections in all our teams, which can be difficult to manage as we send 10 teams away to Junior State Cup.
We have also really looked to highlight the involvement of Referees and the fact that there is a genuine pathway for our referees at representative events. Having experienced referees like our Regional Referees Director Phil Rainger come and help out at our Affiliate has seen referees both young and mature join our referee ranks.
What are your Touch Football highlights so far?
I have three highlights during my years of being involved with Touch Football:
- I was selected to play for NSW country back in the mid 1990s. To go into camp with a group of blokes from the country and represent where you come from was a terrific highlight and something I will remember for years to come.
- Coaching my daughter's Under 14s team to the NSW Junior State Cup Title back in 2004. Winning the State Title is not an easy accomplishment when you think about the hours of organising, training and, of course, playing over the entire tournament.
- In December 2018 I attained my Level 4 Referees Badge. This is the highest Referee Badge Level you can achieve through your state. It took a lot of work but it was definitely worth it!
(At the time of writing), the NRL Touch Premiership taps off. Who is your pick to take out the Women’s and the Men’s competitions?
This is a hard one to pick, especially with the Roosters and Warriors, coming into the competition this year. There will be some really close matches. I can’t go past Parramatta Eels in both the Men’s & Women’s competitions and I can assure you growing up in Parramatta has nothing to do with it (well maybe a little bit)!