TFA Volunteer Of The Year Award 5 Web Hero (1)

Newman – Western Australia. A mining town in the remote Pilbara region, 1,100km north of Perth. Towns like this prove Touch Football is played all around this vast country of ours; and Newman Touch Association is where we focus on for our Bristol Volunteer of the Month for March 2023.

Tara Rangi is a softly spoken, yet passionate volunteer who along with husband Eric, consistently gives up her time to give back to her local affiliate in regional Western Australia.

As our Bristol Volunteer of the Month, we spent some time with Tara to speak about her passion for Touch Footy, the regional town of Newman and the remarkable role she performs across multiple local communities.

Congratulations Tara, can you begin by telling us a little bit about your Touch Football journey?

This is special; I appreciate being nominated and even more so being able to receive this recognition!

I started playing Touch Football when I was growing up in New South Wales prior to my family relocating to Western Australia (WA). I was in year 7 when my journey began, and it hasn’t stopped for decades since.

After I started playing and was relatively successful at a school level I wanted to keep involved with the game and kept playing. After starting my own family in Newman, Touch Football was always at the forefront of our weekly activities with Eric and I either helping mark lines, refereeing, or playing ourselves. Newman Touch has a special place in our family and is our home away from home even though we have 3 kids now.

Can you tell us what is it about Touch Football that lured you into the sport and has kept you around for so long?

The initial lure was the ability to play with a footy, Touch Football was the avenue for females to play something like league or union. Growing up I had brothers who all played rugby league and Touch Footy was the only option I had, so I took it and loved it.

To this day the game provides an awesome avenue for female athletes to be able to flourish and have a pathway to other sports, especially NRLW. It allows females to play together or in a mixed comp, the possibilities are endless.

I really enjoy the sport, it’s a great sport that has given me so much, it’s allowed me to develop as a person, make amazing and lifelong friends; and now as a Mother I’m able to give back to the community and sport that gave me so much. Wednesday nights are touch nights at Newman, so we’re always out, about, and busy.


That’s great to hear, thanks for sharing! Can you tell us about Newman’s “Bloodisloe” Cup?

This day has a special place in the hearts of many of us in the Newman community. The Bloodisloe Cup has become a tradition that honours the memory of police officers who lost their lives years ago in a plane crash in our community. The event was formed to pay our respects to those we lost.

Over the years many sports have become involved; but in its essence it is a fundraiser for the Police Legacy Fund; Males play rugby and females play Touch, bringing the community together.

There are always different combinations of who plays who, but usually Newman Touch have a team involved, Police Legacy do and there are pseudo-Australian and New Zealand sides as well. This event really symbolises the community spirit and to have Touch involved and ever-present is fitting.

What does an average week in your family look like?

Like many others, plenty of running around after our kids, we have three. I’m hopeful our youngest will take up Touch Football shortly as he’s 6 years’ old so he’s on the cusp. We always have a touch footy in the car, ready to go should we head to a park or have some spare time! Our middle daughter has cerebral palsy, so we love having that footy around to practise catching and throwing with her!

Our goal is to inspire our own kids and the larger community to get out, get active and come together. As many may assume but aren’t completely aware, when you live in a remote town it can become isolating quite quickly so having Touch Football as a constant outlet to meet people and mix with others is a blessing, we and the town love it.


What do you think has been the best advancements in the game in the past 5 years?

The game has become very structured and in a good way. There’s now set plays and ways to read the game that never existed when I started playing back in high school.

I do enjoy when it gets a bit disjointed though and that pure, raw natural talent of players come to fruition. Where a couple of passes just stick and it’s so exciting to watch and be a part of.

We agree! What’s next for Tara Rangi?

Well, our family has just recently relocated to Geraldton, which is about 450km (or a 4.5-hour drive) from Perth, so we’ve gotten a bit closer to city life, but still very much regional. We’ve settled in here nicely and have already got involved with the Geraldton Touch Association, thanks to our State Manager, Warren Smiles. So, it will be more of the same for us here in Geraldton, Touch, Touch and more Touch.

Finally, Tara if you were to win the Bristol Paint Volunteer of the Year award and $5,000 worth of paint does a project comes to mind?

I’m sure there’s plenty of worthy causes I’d look to utilise a prize like this! I would offer it to Newman or Geraldton clubs that I'm sure would jump at the chance to have some paint to freshen up their club houses.

As our volunteer of the Month, Tara is now eligible for the Bristol Paint TFA Volunteer of the Year (VOY) Award. The TFA VOY will receive paint to the value of $5,000 for a project of their choice, thanks to our friends at Bristol Paint.

DON’T FORGET All Touch Footy participants are entitled to 15-20% OFF Bristol Paint products.  Download your exclusive discount card on our website, here.

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