29 July 2023

We talk to last years dedicated Community Sports Dad winner and hear about his six hour return trip for kids footy

QHi Bradley, hope all is well. Just seeing if you are still involved with the Lightning Ridge JRL Club and how has the Club been going?

AYes, I’m still involved with the Lightning Ridge Tigers JRL. I am currently the President of the Club.

We have been able to provide more footy for our kids than the previous two years. Being very remote here in Lightning Ridge (10 hours drive from Sydney) our club has also been able to host a few more home games which has definitely lifted our wonderful community spirits.

QHave you had any special moments as a Club recently?

AWe have just returned from a weighted zone 5 carnival for U10/35kg and U12/43kg which was held in Wynnum QLD that went for two weeks. We proudly saw 11 of our own Tigers make the teams. My wife and I chaperoned 10 kids, and amongst the footy they also got to go to the movies, The Bay and Dreamworld. Which they all loved!

Brad's the President, Brad's the referee, Brads the coach, Brad's the bus driver and the proud Dad!

Necia - Bradley's partner

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QHow are your teams looking this year?

AOur teams are looking amazing....our numbers came in strong this year and teams are full. We are a little light in the U6 age group but we are still getting over the events that almost put a stop to footy, since covid and the floods.

QI’m sure you’d like more support - what do you really need that could help you achieve your short-term goals for the Club?

AOur short term goal is simply a weekly one of just making sure all our kids get to play footy and get to every game, ensuring no kid is left behind.

Transport is our biggest issue with our competitors being approximately 3 hours one way away, so a 6 hour return trip. Our community and committee members do what we can but with the rise in living costs and fuel we are borrowing buses and car pooling as much as we can.

I would love to see the club with its own bus to take this issue away from our kids.

QDid winning the Philips Sports Dad of the Year award last year help the Club in any way?

AWinning the award was the most humbling moment in all my time being involved with the community and sports.

I don’t do what I do for the accolades, I do it for the kids. With the $5000 winning voucher I am pleased to say that we have been able to purchase a kit bag for all registered players that will ensure they are packed and ready for footy at home games and away. We have been able to purchase a some head gear for our teams and some merchandise for raffles. I would like to send a shout out to Brandon the store manager of Rebel Sport in Capalaba QLD for going above and beyond when we hit his store to spend our voucher for the Club.

QFinally, being our reigning champion of the Community Sports Dad of the Year - how do you feel looking back and any advice for any dads wanting to get involved in their local community sport?

AThere is nothing more rewarding than being apart of something your kids love to do. Being involved with the club in a role big or small helps the club and your child grow. It also allows the club to provide more than the sport it offers, to not only your child but to all children involved and the community. 

I am grateful for my community who nominated me last year and I am happy to have been able to give back to them with the help of Philips.

Do you know a Dad, like Bradley Benjamin that goes above and beyond for his Sports Community?

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