Teachers devoted to sport

The Lower Eyre Peninsula SAPSASA District has been privileged to have the services of many dedicated teachers who have made huge contributions to primary school sport over the last 20 to 30 years.

After eight years as district convenour Graham McConnell recently stepped down from the role.

The district has been fortunate to have had his dedicated service for more than 25 years.

He has a passion for junior sport and providing opportunities for country students to compete at higher sport levels.

McConnell has a tremendous work ethic and exceptional organisational skills.

He displays compassion, care and genuine interest for all students and their achievements.

Lower Eyre Peninsula is one of the most active districts in state carnivals and championships which is largely due to McConnell’s dedication to providing sporting opportunities for local children.

In 2005 he received a SAPSASA Service Award, recognising the contribution he has made to sport within the district.

His role as district SAPSASA president, from 2001 to 2008, was followed by his contribution as district convenor from 2011 to 2018.

McConnell has been coach or manager of many district teams which have competed in Adelaide at state carnivals and championships, including athletics, football, boy’s soccer, cross country, rugby league and swimming.

In 1998 Anna Walpole, Chris Jones and McConnell, instigated the re-introduction of the district’s athletics day and have continued as chief organisers of the event.

The carnival involves all schools within the district and is one of the key events on the calendar.

McConnell has also helped select the team and travelled to Adelaide as joint coach for all of those years.

He has provided thousands of students aged 10 to 13 with the opportunity to try a range of sports and enabled them to participate at local, state and interstate level.

Christopher Jones, more commonly known as Jonesy, has also been a vital cog in the organisational wheel of LEP SAPSASA for possibly more than 30 years.

His dedication to primary school sport, organisation skills and willingness to help at a wide variety of tasks, coach, selector, umpire and manager, has made him a valuable leader.

In the last 21 years Jonesy has been one of the prime organisers of the LEP district’s athletics day.

His contributions include forwarding paperwork, receiving and recording nominations, photocopying scoring sheets, re-jigging handicap formulas, marshalling and each year has measured the oval for the track and field events.

Jonesy was LEP secretary/treasurer from 1996 to 1997 and has willingly relieved as district convenor when required.

He has helped organise other sporting carnivals, including basketball, touch and super eight cricket and has travelled to Adelaide as coach of the inaugural boy’s softball team.

For the last 15 years, Jonesy has helped with selection of the LEP netball team, prepared notes and consent forms, booked facilities, umpired at netball trials and been a valuable mentor to new coaches.

He has just been awarded a SAPSASA Service Award for his outstanding dedication to primary school sport.

Despite retiring from permanent teaching, he continues to contribute and provide valuable support and expertise within Lower Eyre Peninsula SAPSASA.