Story & photo by Les Taylor, Celebration Time. Graham “Chook” Ford (second right) celebrates with Peter Barnes, son Brad Ford and Stephen “Stacker” Stait.
Since it’s inception in 1979 the Portland Touch Association has been a strong force in the central west and the tradition is certainly continuing as thirty seven teams take to the field during this season at Saville Park.
The 2014-15 touch football season consists of fifteen teams in the mixed competition on Thursdays, fourteen in the men’s Wednesday competition and eight teams in the junior competition contested on Thursday afternoons.
During those thirty five years one man has stood out and now has been recognised for his great achievements.
A very surprised and humbled Graham “Chook” Ford has had the NSW Touch Association Blues Award for Voluntary Contribution to the Sport of Touch bestowed upon him.
Club life member, Ford played for 33 years in the Portland competition and represented the Western Area, the Hornets Region and Country NSW with his refereeing skills put to the test at all levels of this great sport.
“A truly great achievement,” were the words echoed by club executive Jason Whitney.
This seasons executive is filled by Stephen Bender as President Jason Whitney as Senior Vice President, Amanda McManus as Junior Vice President, Alisa Barnes as Secretary, Stephen “Stacker” Stait as Treasurer and Matt Jeffries as Referees Director.
The competition takes the Christmas break from December 18th to resume on January 22nd with semi finals played during the week of March 11th, finals a week later, then grand finals on March 25th for men and March 26th for the mixed competition.
As in the past couple of years the competition has been backed by the Portland Bowling Club and the Imperial Hotel in Portland.