Two needed to replace development officer
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au
SO VALUABLE has been departing Australian Rugby League Foundation development officer Therese Kelly's contribution to the code, it will take two people to replace her ? literally.
Kelly, who finishes in the role she has filled for the past four years this week, will be replaced by two new development officers based in Rockhampton and Bundaberg respectively.
And while the move has come too late to save Kelly from having to travel the vast distances her job required, she is pleased the ARL Foundation has acknowledged the CQ region's need for another officer.
Despite the difficulties of the job, Kelly left an impressive legacy.
She recorded the ARL Foundation's third highest national number of Kids to Kangaroos program participants and the highest number of graduates through various skills improvement programs.
Kelly also had to oversee the largest number of ARL Foundation Cup teams of any development officer in Australia but nev-er looked for shortcuts.
"You never say no to people in the country,'' Kelly said.
"If they're willing to put up their hand to say they want you there, you've got to go.
"It was a really satisfying job but also tiring. "The best part has been meeting so many people and understanding the level of commitment our volunteers have to the development of rugby league. I'm going to miss it big time.''
However, she will now face new challenges, teaching at Toolooa High and returning to the coaching ranks.
Kelly is excited about her appointment as Valleys' under-19 coach and is looking forward to applying the knowledge gained during the past four years.
"I think the Valleys club is very gutsy taking on a female coach,'' Kelly said.
"It'll be a steep learning curve but I know I've got the skills ? I just have to find a way to use the skills.''
Kelly thanked Gladstone Junior Rugby League coaches who willingly embraced new ideas and programs and school officials, referees and members of the community who gave their time to promote rugby league.