FOR a person with little interest in sports, Woorndoo Mortlake’s David Wade has remarkable dedication to the Mininera and District Football League.
Wade was recognised with an association life membership on the weekend for more than three decades involvement with Woorndoo and two decades with the league.
In the 1980s, Wade started as a trainer with the Woorndoo Football Club and then with the winds of league change in the air, he volunteered to help record the league netball results.
The year was 1993 and Wade would wait by the telephone in his office as clubs would begin to call with their results.
He would jot down all the grades and goal scorers, spending up to six hours on a Saturday afternoon ensuring the results were correct.
Seven years later, the Mininera and District Football League was formed and he committed the same long hours to compiling the football results.
Wade said he enjoyed the long afternoons because he knew he was helping the league function effectively.
“I’d come into my office at one or two o’clock every Saturday afternoon and enter all the results,” he said.
“People would ring me up with their results and I’d write them all down.
“Then when fax machines came in, they would fax results.
“I’d write down all the results, prepare the ladders and total up the leading goal kickers.
“I’ve done that for 20 years and now it’s all gone online so clubs can put all their own results in.
“I just oversee the whole process.
“We have media deadlines we have to meet, so I just make sure all clubs are getting their results in, making sure they’re accurate and I follow things up if the scores don’t look right or aren’t in.”
While assisting the league with the results, Wade started Tiger Talk, Woorndoo’s club newsletter in 1994, and began working the gate at the Tigers’ home games in 1996, both of which he still does to this day.
Five seasons as club treasurer and bar manager at the end of the 1990s was followed shortly after by league administration roles.
First Wade was a junior vice president in 2002, followed by senior vice president for eight years.
He moved into the role of league secretary in 2011 and held the position for four seasons, before the league changed its off-field structure to encompass a board of management.
Naturally, Wade was elected onto the board as the administrative assistant, and along with his role as clearance secretary since 2007 and secretary-treasurer of the Woorndoo Recreation Reserve since 2006, is still heavily involved in both the club and league’s off-field affairs.
Wade said he was surprised by the life membership, but very grateful to the league and privileged to accept it.
“I’m very honoured to receive the award,” he said.
“I’m a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing.
“It’s a big, humbling experience to be put up there and receive the award for the work you’ve done.
“You don’t expect to receive the award, I’m very humbled by the whole process.”
Wade’s commitment to football and netball in Woorndoo and the Mininera district as a whole is made all the more remarkable by the fact he was never a footy tragic.
“I played a bit of school boys footy in Ballarat, but I was really just thrown in the deep end at Woorndoo footy club,” he said.
“I’m not much of a sportsperson; computers were a hobby of mine.
“When all things went to computers I helped out.”
Despite spending every Saturday for the last 23 years typing up results among his array of other commitments, Wade said he has no intention of slowing down.
“I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing because I enjoy doing it,” he said.
“It’s been a really great journey, you get to meet a lot of nice people and make a lot of friends.”