Football Queensland and NAB are pleased to announce Michelle Jones, from The Lakes Football Club, as the winner of the NAB Volunteer of the Month award for February and most recent inducted in the NAB Academy of Awesome.
Michelle was nominated by her club as an outstanding volunteer and has been recognised for her willingness to help, community spirit and push to improve female participation. A timely winner during rebel Female Football Week (March 2-10).
Michelle, a teacher’s aide who has volunteered at the club for five years, said she could not believe she won the award.
“I don’t volunteer for recognition,” Michelle said. “We volunteer because we love it.”
“I was a parent on the sideline, I was asked to help manage a team, then I was asked to join the committee because they wanted more female representation, now it’s my second or third year on that.
“I have four kids, I’m very busy but I absolutely love it. It keeps me active, it keeps my brain active.
“It (volunteering) creates a good role model for your kids, they see you give something for free, and I’m trying to teach my kids that helping people out without expecting anything, is what we do as good humans.”
The Lakes FC secretary Neil Kinsela, and vice-president Glen Kinsela, said they nominated Michelle because of her impressive work ethic and attention to detail.
“She’s always there, for starters,” Neil said.
“It continues on from last year, she was equipment officer and generally helps out all across the club.
“She’s helped out with all the girls’ teams, and we’ve been pushing for the girls this year. Last year she helped managed the under-16s.”
The Lakes FC have expanded female teams from one junior and one senior girls team last year, to five girls and four women’s senior teams in 2018.
Neil said Michelle juggles her volunteer work at the club with her own busy life.
“Michelle, with the help of a few others, have been instrumental in helping kick off the junior women’s football and it’s progressed into the seniors as well,” he said.
“She’s a very busy lady with a very busy family, she has four kids and her husband is in the military,” Neil said. “She always helps everyone out. She’s just always there.”
“She gets in there, tells people straight up how it is. I’ve always had confidence in her, I saw how she handled all the equipment and she had a brilliant structure as to how to organise it, and she really took ownership of that role. She has the confidence to move things forward.”
Vice-president Glen Kinsela said The Lakes FC have experienced rapid growth from 42 teams last year, to 63 in 2018 with over 700 registered players.
“We have a shared clubhouse, which we share with two other sporting clubs,” Glen said. “She’s been a key component in our club working with that situation and she’s been a huge help in running the canteen.
“Soccer is about community, Michelle is a good example of that. Her husband comes down and wears the club polo. Our club is all about that (community) and we’ve seen a massive growth on the back of it.
“People like Michelle are what move football clubs forward.”