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

Through hard work and determination, Rohan Greaves has set Geelong Touch Association alight. With over 24 years of involvement, Rohan’s time and effort has generated $569k in successful grant funding used to install 6 LED light towers enabling the competition to grow. Rohan’s efforts haven’t stopped there; he has assisted over 200 people become involved in the sport, created a ‘Battle of the Best’ and family competitions, and helped numerous infrastructure programmes get off the ground. It’s thanks to passionate volunteers like Rohan, that make Touch Football a welcoming, inclusive and fun sport. 

As our Bristol Volunteer of the Month, we speak to Rohan about his passion for Touch Footy, his own personal journey, and the remarkable role he has and continues to perform in his local community.  

Can you tell us how you became involved in Touch Football? 

In 1999 I joined my brothers touch team when he finished playing for his school team. From there I started refereeing in 2005 and then joined the committee in 2007, all of which I still participate in today!  

I began on the committee as the Website Coordinator and became President the following year. I remain President of Geelong Touch today, only having had one year off, serving as Vice President since I commenced the role in 2008. 

What do you enjoy/love the most about Touch Football? 

I’ve really enjoyed the social aspects of the game. As I said, I started playing with my brother which had expanded to playing with my wife and son in the Wednesday night family competition. I’ve also had the pleasure of playing with a lot of good friends over the years. I love the friendly and respectful way the sport is played which allows it to be inclusive and welcoming.  Everybody plays the game in the right spirit and does the small gestures like thanking the referees after the game. 

I’ve also enjoyed the competitive nature of the sport and the way strategy has been implemented. You don’t have to be fast to be successful in the sport, there are numerous moves to create overlap to help your team score. 

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You wear many hats? What element do you enjoy the most? 

I love getting people involved in the game either through word of mouth or by setting up competitions which enable them to participate. Since I started playing, I think I’ve assisted over 200 people through merging groups together to form a team or helping people join an established one. I’ve also helped to run junior programs on Friday nights and female switch programs as a coach and coordinator. At the end of the day, it’s all about getting more people involved in the sport and helping it to grow.  

In 2016 we added an extra night of competition as our existing ones were at maximum capacity. We started a family competition on Wednesday nights which has grown our competitions to 31 teams as of last summer. We even had a participant play with his son, brother, daughter in-law, nephew, niece and granddaughter which epitomises what the sport is about. It’s been great to get families involved in the sport and playing together. 

What is your favourite memory or moment in the game? 

My favourite memory was getting the call to tell us Geelong Touch had been granted funding to install lights at the oval. After 6 years of unsuccessful applications and countless hours lobbying, I spoke with our local government member who loved the diversity and popularity of the sport. This led to both the state and federal government providing $569k in funding! Due to the size of the funding, we were able to install 6 LED light towers which has allowed us to save on electricity and maintenance costs. Crucially, the lights allowed us to run a winter competition which has provided over 140 people the opportunity to play in winter, which is great. We can also run our summer competitions later into the night with the lighting meaning we can accommodate more teams. 

Another favourite memory is the commencement of our ‘Battle of the Best’ competition in 2019. We’ve grown to a 30-team competition as of last year with teams coming from all over Victoria and interstate. The competition runs over 1 day in February from 9am to 7pm with 3 divisions: family, mixed and social. I’ve helped to source referees and run the competitions and it’s been hugely rewarding to see the competition take off. 

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What have been the biggest advancements in the sport in your opinion? 

For Geelong Touch, getting the lights installed has allowed over 140 people participate in the sport throughout winter, which has been great. We have also created a 2nd night of competition during the week which has allowed more people to play. 

We have also changed our local diversity requirements for mixed teams from 4 males and 2 females to a maximum of 3 males with the other 3 members either being females or juniors under 14. This has encouraged a lot more females to join the sport and given juniors the opportunity to test themselves against the adults which has been fantastic. 

Finally, if you were to be named Volunteer of the Year and $5,000 towards a paint project, what projects come to mind? 

Geelong Touch is currently in stage 1 of their clubrooms project with the other sporting organisations that use the facilities. The project has been awarded $350k in funding and stage 2 will involve repainting the clubrooms so the paint would help a great deal to get the project complete.


As our volunteer of the Month, Rohan 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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