Touch Football Australia (TFA’s) longest-serving employee, Isobel Appo, will retire from her official role in the sport, effective 28th August.
Isobel, the Business Development Manager at Touch Football Northern Territory (TFNT), was employed by the sport back in 1987.
At the time she was hired, she was the sole staffer of what was then known as the Northern Territory Touch Association, and only the second ever person to be employed by the Association.
Throughout her 33 years’ service, Isobel has taken on many roles, including that of State Manager. She has delivered the Darwin competition as well as the emerging comp in Palmerston, dozens of State Cup and junior events, as well as playing, refereeing and coaching.
Some highlights include helping run the National Championships in hometown Darwin in 1990, and touring to Rotorua, NZ, with national Indigenous teams for the World Indigenous Tournament.
Isobel has been instrumental in the growth and success of Touch Football in the NT, says TFA CEO Jamie O’Connor.
“Isobel worked passionately for almost 33 years to help grow the sport; she is an icon of the Touch community in the Top End and will continue to be so in retirement. Her contribution is unrivalled.”
TFNT State Manager Nathan McDonald agrees, adding that “Isobel’s knowledge of Touch in the NT and experience has been invaluable to me over the past two years.
“Her commitment to the sport and willingness to go beyond the call of duty is second to none. She really is ‘The Godmother’ of TFNT!” he says.
Isobel is still playing Mixed and Women’s Touch and referees, while her kids and grandkids play too. “They didn’t really have a choice!” she laughs. So there’s no doubt Isobel will continue to be a mainstay in the Touch community up there in Darwin, alongside the “friends for life” she says she’s made through the sport.