Falcons a finalist for NSW Community Sports Awards' Club of the Year

Falcons a finalist for NSW Community Sports Awards' Club of the Year

It came as a shock to the Falcons when they heard last week they'd been shortlisted as a finalist in the NSW Community Sports Awards' Club of the Year category.

"We didn't know anything about it," Macksville Touch Association president Craig Englert said.

"But obviously we were pretty excited."

NSW Touch Member Services Coordinator David Stone said his association had submitted the nomination on the club's behalf.

"Seven or eight years ago Macksville Touch was pretty much a non-existent club at a representative level - now they're the leading club in the Northern Eagles region, which stretches from Forster to the Queensland border," he said.

So they've come a long way in a really short period of time, and we thought they were very deserving of a nomination.

The Falcons are the only touch football club, and the only regional sports club, shortlisted as finalists.

"I was pretty proud to hear these guys are getting recognised for the work they're doing," David said.

"To have touch football as the number one sport in a regional town is a very rare thing.

"They're also a great promoter of the All Abilities Touch program. So they're doing great work in the community."

Bill Sturgeon, Craig Englert and Matiese Trisley at the 2019 All Abilities Touch trial

Bill Sturgeon, Craig Englert and Matiese Trisley at the 2019 All Abilities Touch trial

The Falcons pride themselves on their inclusivity; member ages range from five to mid-seventies, and there's an even distribution of male and female players.

The nomination also noted that 15 per cent of Falcons identify as being Indigenous.

And for a club from a small-ish town, they pack a punch in regional representation.

"I think around 30 per cent of regional players this year came from Macksville. And there are around 30 clubs in the region," Craig said.

The 2019 Women's 20s State Cup Runners Up

The 2019 Women's 20s State Cup Runners Up

"We also have a number of state reps in our junior ranks. And we provide a lot of coaches, referees and selectors to the region too, who we support through regular training."

The nomination noted the innovative way the club attracts new players and referees through its annual and well-attended primary gala day.

And the club's popularity is easy to see if you head to the Macksville football fields on a Thursday - for the past couple of years the competitions have been running at capacity.

"I think it's just about giving people what they want. We do a survey every year asking people what they think we could do better - and we mostly get back 'just keep doing what you're doing'," Craig said.

"And we have a fantastic committee that just keeps everything ticking along really well."

Congratulations to the Macksville Falcons on their shortlisting, and we wish them all the best when the winners are announced by the NSW Office of Sport later in the year.

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