Love of game leads to president's role

MICHAEL Allen is a man on a mission.

Elected president of the Orange Netball Association at a meeting on Monday night, the committee newcomer has a simple explanation for his willingness to take on the office.

“I really love the sport,” Allen said.

“When I was a young man, and even into my 30s, my sporting love was football.

“But since I’ve been watching my two daughters play netball on Saturdays I’ve seen what a skilful and fantastic game it is.”

The magistrate has been involved on the peripheries of the local competition as a spectator, but was persuaded to put his name forward for the office.

It’s a job that he is willing to take on wholeheartedly.

“It’s my first time testing the waters on the ONA committee,” Allen explained.

“I guess I was approached because of the belief that I have no barrow to push, no agenda, and my legal skills would be handy on the committee.

“I’m in a business where I have to make tough decisions all the time. It will be the same in this role.”

While full of ideas and purpose, Allen is willing to take lessons from the past to ensure his tenure is a success.

He has scheduled a meeting with former presidents and current committee members to gauge their aspirations for the organisation.

“It’s a steep learning curve so I’m looking for all the information I can get,” Allen said.

“It’s a democratically run committee, so my ideas and thoughts aren’t automatically going to come into play.

“I want a broad range of opinions on what direction we can take.”

One of Allen’s main prerogatives is to provide more support for coaches and volunteers, who he believes have received limited assistance in the past.

He is also hoping to create a more unified spirit across the Orange sides which, in the past, have been prone to club factionalism.

The incoming president stressed he will not play favourites.

“I’m not in this role for myself or one club,” Allen said.

“I’m here to help and support the sport in general, and the parents and coaches who give up their time and money to ensure that it can continue.”

The 2013 ONA season starts on May 4.

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