Competition Winner

Father of 8 wins Philips Community
Sports Dad of the Year

He is the under 8’s coach, first aider, photographer, fundraiser, manager, committee member and the regular go to man who never says no for his beloved Berala Bears JRLFC. Father of 8 Bill Soliola is the winner of the 2018 Philips Community Sports Dad of the Year award.

The award recognises fathers in local communities from across Australia who are making a positive impact through their involvement in local sport. Bill has been part of the Berala club for the past three years and club secretary Kylie Carroll, who nominated Bill, said his passion for the club is second to none. 

“I nominated Bill for all his hard work,” Kylie said. “He stands in 24/7 for whoever needs help. He is the heart and soul of our club and does it all for free and without being asked. Bill fits all this around a busy family and active church life. He is the definition of a super hero dad!”

Befitting his giving nature,  Bill was humbled by the award and deflected attention away from himself. “I feel over the moon, but at the same time I feel this is more of a community effort award,” the hard working local hero said. “They say it takes a village to raise a child, well that's the case here with this award ... building strong bonds with local sporting families by learning and listening. This award is for everyone. What motivates me are all the families. Volunteering to me is about giving and not expecting anything back. Making life easier for others and putting smiles on children's faces”.

Retired NRL star Sam Perrett, who presented Bill with his award, shared his own experience with community volunteers. “When I was growing up and starting out in rugby league, it was volunteers like Bill who helped support local clubs which increased my enjoyment and love of sport,” Sam said. Without the support of the many dads and mums in their communities local sport for children wouldn’t survive”. 

“Congratulations to Bill, the Berala Bears are lucky to have a dad like him at the Club”.

Bill’s prize is a $5,000 Rebel sports voucher which he will donate to the Berala Bears JRLFC as well as $1,000 worth of Philips male grooming products. 

“Thank you to Philips for supporting such a wonderful award and a huge thank you to Berala Bears and the whole sports and education community our family is involved with,” Bill said.  “Finally, a special thank you to my hero, my dad, and also my father and mother in law ... who are all the engine room of our family. I Hope everyone has a wonderful Father’s Day.”

2018 Winner

Bill Soliola - donated $5,000 voucher to Berala Bears Junior RLFC

How do you feel about being the 2018 Philips Community Sports Dad of the Year winner? I feel over the moon, but at the same time I feel this is more of a community effort award. They say "it takes a village to raise a child", well that's the case here with this award.  It was my Rugby League, Netball, My Church, My work , My Local School and community families who have helped me get this award. Everything I've ever known, is basically absorbed by what I see and hear. Building strong bonds with local sporting families by learning and listening. This is everyone that I know's Award as well.

How many children do you have, what are their names? I have 8 children;

1. Monalisa (Girl) 14 years
2. Elizabeth (Girl) 11 years
3. Tai (Boy) 8 years
4. Tania (Girl) 7 years
5. Sefo (Boy) 5 years
6. Via (Girl) 4 years
7. Nei (Girl) 2 years
8. Lidcombe (Girl) 1 year

What sports do the kids enjoy? They all enjoy getting out. All sports but in particular Rugby League, Netball, Athletics and basically anything that keeps them active. 

Tell us about the Berala Bears JRLF Club and the local community? It is a great community family club, I recommend it to anyone. It has a great community environment. The President Hash,  Executive Kylie, Bassimah, Zena, Pat & Fadi , the committee are very welcoming and friendly. They welcome anyone who wants to volunteer and will support anyone who wants to learn about being a volunteer. I am so grateful to all at the Bears for helping my family and myself adjust into the Bears style and into Rugby League volunteer grassroots atmosphere. 

What motivates you to do what you do for the local sports community? The children and the families and most importantly the inclusion. Volunteering to me is about giving and not expecting anything back. Making life easier for others and putting smiles on children's faces is what motivates me to keep volunteering. 

Are there any future Rugby League stars in your U8’s, U/11’s & U14's and how have they gone this year?  Yes, they all definitely do have the potential to be future stars.

Any words for all the other dads out there in Australia that help their local sports communities? Keep up the great work. Stay positive. Stay encouraged and most importantly, don't burn yourself out. We are all super dads in one way or another. A little help adds up, we contribute in our own special way.

I’m sure the club is excited to be receiving the $5000 voucher, what do you think the money will be spent on? It's up to the executive on how they want to spend it. Part of being a volunteer is listening and learning, and helping. I usually do what the majority agree on and back it up as good as I can. I'm just happy it is there to help our Berala Bears club out.

What are you going to be doing on Father's Day and what would you like as a gift? If our teams progress into the finals (u16s and women’s) then I will be out with my family to support them. If we don't make it, then we will be at Sunday School and church. Spend Church with my Dad, then after Church spend time with my wife's dad.

Any final words? A big thank you to Philips for the Fathers Day gift.  A huge thank you to Berala Bears sponsor, The Berala Hotel. Thank you so much to my Berala Bears Coach mentors and executive family. Special mention to secretary Kylie for the official nomination and to Bob Jones.  To all Berala Bears families, coach Jennie Webster and Liverpool Netball Families, Rev Kiliona and Uniting Church Samoan Families, Principal Mr Lewis and Lidcombe Public School families, local community families, my extended families and friends for supporting me. This is a team award and a team effort.  Everytime I am at Berala Bears, I am forever asking and learning off everyone there. Having everyones input at training and at games has helped me be the person I am, and the Sports Dad I have become. This reward is all ours as a Berala Bears family.  I love and respect you all so much and I am so grateful for everyone's help. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.  Finally, a special mention to my hero, my Dad Lolofie Su'a Soliola - thanks for sticking by me and loving me dad. Also to my Mother-in-law Elizabeth Loapo, you are the engine room of our family. Thanks for Helping us with taking the little one's most weekends. Happy Fathers Day to my Father-in-law and Mento, Tunumafono Maiava Loapo.

How do you feel about your husband Bill winning this years Philips Community Sports Dad of the Year? He has always been a great father to the children. Not only that but also a great role model to the community. When our children see it, it builds their confidence.  When Bill comes home from work, the kids rush to him and compete for a hug with their dad. That is the happiest I see Bill and my kids. - Sana

What makes Bill so special? He loves us unconditionally. He is set in his ways, but if and when we need him for training, homework, advice or emergencies, he will always try his best to make time for us. No matter how heavy his daily work load is, he always seems to find the time. - Sana

What makes your dad so special? He always says, "if after showing every single one of you love and I have spare time, then I will start loving you guys from the beginning again”. He knows, it is impossible to do, and he will never have spare time, cause that spare time is always spent with us. Which is why we are so grateful for him being our Dad.  He always finds an excuse to hang out with us. - The kids


Sports Dad of the Year 2018
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