Vale, Aileen May.
Aileen was New South Wales Touch Association (NSWTA’s) President, but even more significantly, she paved the way for women in Touch.
“Aileen was one of the pioneers of the female game, she has been involved for more than 40 years, and was the sport’s first female President,” says Touch Football Australia (TFA) Chair Anita Hagarty.
“The thing that strikes me most about Aileen was she was relentless in her pursuit of striving for New South Wales and striving for the sport – she was always asking, how do we do better?”
“The loss to our sport, to New South Wales Touch Association and to [her affiliate] Taren Point Touch Association is immeasurable.”
NSWTA General Manager Dean Russell, who has not only worked with but been a long-time friend of Aileen’s, speaks about Aileen’s involvement in the sport, and her particularly strong influence at Taren Point Touch. “She was setting the foundation for female involvement in the game as far back as the 1970s and 80s.
“In her 40 years at park level she has always maintained strong links to and supported the NSWTA, ensuring that her club remained affiliated in a tough marketplace within the Sutherland Shire. She is and has been the heart and soul of the Affiliate.”
During her time, Aileen also held an administrative role at a NSW regional level, provided support to the Sydney Rebels, was a Tour Leader for many years for NSWTA, and a Board Member since 2002, when she was initially elected as Vice President and eventually President in 2010.
“There are not many in our sport who can lay claim to the breadth and depth of service Aileen May has given to the NSWTA across all gambits of the game, as a player, as an administrator, as a manager and as a leader. A contribution that will be hard to emulate,” says Russell.
“This in an extremely sad moment in our sport’s history, with our sitting President, our first female President and our longest-serving President losing her battle to illness.”
TFA is sincerely grateful for Aileen’s dedication and contributions to the sport, and our thoughts are with her very loving family – her kids, her grandkids, and her Taren Point Touch family also – at this very sad time.