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

From tax to touch, you would struggle to find a greater return on investment than Mackay Touch found in Chris Breckell. When Chris rallied a team together 20-odd years ago, his accounting skills landed him on the board at Mackay Touch. Little did Chris know that this would lead to over 20-years of contribution to the club as Player, Vice President, Canteen Assistant, Coach and Referee. Chris was quick to point out that he hasn’t operated alone though, with his wife Annette also pouring a lot of time and effort into making Mackay Touch the club that it is. Chris and Annette personify what Touch Football is about; inclusiveness, fun and friendship.

Chris is a humble volunteer who goes about his work with little fuss but his tireless contributions to Mackay Touch and the broader North Queensland region have made a lasting impact on the participants and clubs in the area.

As our Bristol Volunteer of the Month, we speak to Chris about his passion for Touch Footy, his favourite moments over the years, and the remarkable role he has and continues to perform in his local community.

Chris, congratulations on being named our Bristol Volunteer of the Month, can you tell us about how you became involved with Touch Football?

I started out as a player 20-odd years ago when I was asked to fill a team, which I did through mates and work colleagues. Once I started to get involved in the club and people heard I was an accountant, I was approached to join the board, and I’m still involved now, 20 years later.

Brilliant, what do you enjoy/love the most about Touch Football?

It’s the joy the kids and families get from being involved in the sport. I always remind the kids not to forget the 3-letter word “fun”. Whether they win or lose, it’s about having fun and making friendships with those you play with. What’s great about this sport is that the three-letter word doesn’t just apply to the kids, people of all ages can have fun, it doesn't matter if you’re U10s or O60s!

Another aspect of the game I love is the ability to throw around a classic touch ball wherever you are!

What element do you enjoy the most about the game and your involvement?

I enjoy the social side of the sport. It’s a great sport to play but it’s equally as rewarding afterwards when you can catch-up with your friends for a drink to share stories and hear about their week. I also love to see a junior side come together for the first time and bond. It’s worth all the time and effort when you see the kids having fun and creating new friendships.

What is your favourite memory or moment in the game?

As a representative coach winning the U9 North Queensland Junior championship and then going back-to-back a year later with the same group of boys in the U10. It was great to see the boys stick together over the years and that happened through the bond and friendships they created.

I’ve also loved watching Mums and Dads join the sport with their kids and then eventually playing in the same team together. It’s wonderful to see the joy the sport can bring to a family and the memories they’ll have forever. It’s a testament to the inclusiveness and enjoyment the sport provides.


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

I’ve seen a lot of changes in the game over the 20 years and it’s changed in a number of aspects. The technology improvements have been fantastic. The introduction of MySideline software which makes it much easier to register and gives the clubs better control over teams and competition numbers has made it so much easier for volunteers and clubs.

The rule changes have also opened up the game a lot more and it’s been great to see the evolution of coaching and tactics in the sport. Teams are able to attack more, which makes for an exciting game. The sport is always looking to improve which is fantastic, we aren’t going by the old saying of “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”, we are always looking at new ways to make the sport better. For example, the introduction of Fast 4 has been a great way to bring people into the sport as it’s easy to learn and play. It shows the adaptability of the game and the way it is changing with the times.


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

The clubhouse needs a new facelift so I would put the paint towards that. It’s a great Club and we’re fighting hard to keep it that way!


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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