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

It isn’t often that a good news story comes from one sibling harassing another, however in the case of Tyson Blanco there is. Instead of spending another night on the couch, Tyson’s brother recruited him to fill-in for a game of Touch Footy and that initiated him to a world as a player, referee, coach and eventually Club President. Tyson has been an integral part of the Adelaide University Touch Club (AUTC), assisting with the creation and delivery of the Women’s Development Competition and the coordination of the AUTC social competition. According to his peers, Tyson has been instrumental in welcoming new players to the sport and improving their skills in an Aussie Rules dominated environment.

We sat down with Tyson to discuss his involvement in the sport and the elements he’s enjoyed most over the years.

Congratulations Tyson on receiving the Bristol Volunteer of the Month award, can you tell us how you became involved in Touch Football? 

Thank you. I first became involved in Touch Football through my brother, who at the time was apart of Adelaide Uni Touch Club. He was on the committee responsible for organising teams and one night when I was lounging around on the couch, he roped me into playing and I fell in love with the sport straight away and my involvement has grown ever since. 

Six months after joining as a player I became a general member on the committee which progressed to Events Coordinator and then I was appointed Club President which was a great honour. I have also coached and obtained my refereeing qualifications which I really enjoy.

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

I love the Touch Football community. I’ve met a lot of great people through the sport, not just in South Australia but around the country. I’ve made some lifelong friends which I’ve got Touch Football to thank for.

I also love how accessible the sport is. As I mentioned, I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved as a player, referee, coach and committee member and they’re all roles I’ve really enjoyed, albeit for different reasons.  

I enjoy how Touch Footy has allowed me to play with and against my brother. Funnily enough I’ve played against him more than I’ve played with him but it’s always great fun to compete against each other. At the 2021 Uni Nationals, we competed against each other in the first game of the tournament. It was the first time we had seen each other in nine months so it was great to reunite and go head-to-head!

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

I’m really enjoying my time as a referee and coach at the moment. I referee the lower grades which gives me the opportunity to incorporate my coaching skills to help the players throughout the game. I love helping a player work on a certain skill or aspect of their game and when you see that come to fruition, it is extremely rewarding.

What is your favourite memory or moment in the game?

One of my fondest memories is when AUTC delivered its inaugural Women’s Development Competition. There were a lot of people involved in the organisation and planning of the competition, so I was extremely proud of everybody when it all come together on the first night. The competition is still running which is a credit to all the hard work and dedication from those involved.

Another memory I look back on fondly is our 2021 Uni Nationals trip. At the time, Victoria and New South Wales had just gone back into lockdown so we were invited to compete. We threw together a team of ten and with little training or preparation, we made our way up to Queensland. I remember our team trying their hearts out for the entire week and through that we developed a really strong bond. We finished eleven out of fifteen, but we all had so much fun and it was really rewarding to look back on what we achieved. Since then, the nucleus of the team has stayed together and competed in the following two years of Uni Nationals, finishing 5th and 6th respectively which is thanks to the strong bonds we were able to build in that first year of competition. 

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

One of the biggest advancements I have seen in the sport is the ability to watch Touch Football on Kayo Sport. The sport is so much more accessible and it’s great to be able to watch other teams compete. It’s also been a helpful marketing tool to show new players the fun and excitement that comes with playing the sport. 

In terms of advancements at a club and local level, the growth of Touch Football in South Australia is encouraging. You can sense there’s been an increase in the invested interest in the sport with people always hanging around after games to talk about the sport, what improvements can be made and how we can keep growing the game in an Aussie Rules dominated market which is great.

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

Selfishly, my house needs some TLC and could definitely do with a fresh coat of paint. Otherwise, the Waite University redevelopment is commencing shortly so I would love to put the prize towards brightening up the new facility when it’s built.


As our volunteer of the Month, Matt 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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