Name: Joe Lo Grande

First Affiliate you were involved: Gordonvale Touch (Cairns)

Current Affiliate: Gordonvale and I help with refereeing and referee coaching at Cairns Pirates Touch.

Positions held at Gordonvale: President, Referees Director (current position)

Jobs you hold/have held in the game: Referees director of NQ Touch (Current position), Referee coaching panel in Queensland

How did you first get involved with Touch Football? I had recently given up playing rugby league and had moved to Gordonvale. Back in 1985 I was asked to play in a touch team by a mate and enjoyed my first season immensely. 12 Months after playing my first game of Touch football I attended a referee’s course so I could learn the rules of the game.

What improvements and Initiatives have you seen in both Cairns and North Queensland during your time?

NQ is a great Region to be involved in, we try to cover all costs of courses for referees to sit courses as well as attending tournaments. We have seen more affiliates in the region especially out west, Murrumba, Cloncurry and we really try to assist them with Referee resources including referee coaches and mentors.

What is your Touch Football Highlight(s) so far? My Highlight within the sport would have to be the Friendships I have made through Touch Football. You really look forward to going to Touch mid-week and heading away to a tournament to catch up with your mates.

A few other highlights would have to be:

  • Attending State of Origin as a Referee
  • Achieving my Level 6 Referee Badge
  • My Daughter Achieving her Level 6 Badge

The NRL Touch Premiership is in full swing and you were who do you see going all the way and winning a premiership?

Cowboys Men’s are looking strong this year and I believe they have learnt from lasts years’ experience and will come away with the Trophy.

The Broncos Women’s side is stronger than last year, so I see them winning the competition.