A fantastic day of camaraderie and remembrance was had last Sunday at the annual Nick Way Memorial Knock Out Touch Football Day. Nick Way, a long time member of Portland Touch Football Association had sadly passed in November 2007, leaving his family and friends heartbroken.
It was shortly after Nicks passing that the first memorial event was held.
The weekend also celebrated the opening of the club’s new clubhouse by Deputy Premier Paul Toole. The new clubhouse was funded by NSW state Government, in a 2019 election commitment of $500,000. On hand was Portland Touch founding president Barry Fardell where his long commitment to the club was recognised with a presentation. Lithgow Mayor Maree Statham also offered her congratulations to the hard working committee and recognised their efforts in getting the project over the line.
Now in its 16th year of running, the competition attracted 23 teams from all around the Central West. In previous years, teams came as far as Maitland to have a game and support a wonderful cause.
“Nick had represented Portland with touch footy and had a long history the club. After he passed away, we thought there was no better way to remember and honour his memory than doing something that Nick loved so much!” Said Angela Green, Vice President Portland Touch Football Association.
Some brilliant matches saw teams find their way the grand final for each grade. The A grade grand final saw LMNL vs Bullfrogs, with LMNL winning 6-0. The B grade was between Tips & Gravy and Bowling Balls, with Tips & Gravy taking home the win 3-1. The C grade grand final had Running With Heart take on Weekend Warriors, with Running With Heart getting up 3-2. The D grade game saw the NickOffs go up against the Rebels, the Rebels took the win 5-3. And finally, the E grade grand final included Family Ties and Let’s Trot. The winners were Let’s Trot 4-2.
A very big congratulations went to Brock Handley, who received the Nick Way Memorial Shield. Brock went above and beyond during the knock out and played his heart out every game, really contributing to the weekend.
The Nick Way Memorial was not only a special day to remember their best buddy, local charities also saw the benefits. Portland business owner Andrew Neville from ANT Fitness, is currently in training for the 231 km Sonder Monster – a massive run to support Mission 231 for The Heart Foundation so the Portland Touch Football Assoc donated $2000 from their fundraising. And in the most kindest of gestures, all of the winning teams from the knock out donated their cash winnings, so Andrew’s fundraising for Mission231 and the Heart Foundation totalled over $4000! Additionally, another wonderful local charity – the Simon Williams Memorial Charity, raised funds with their delicious BBQ. A big thanks is also given to AusCo, the building company that supplied the funky new clubhouse at Saville Park, also donated funds towards the BBQ for grand opening ceremony.
It’s important to acknowledge a special thanks to the Committee, who all really stepped up and made the day such an amazing success! Shout out to Stephen Stait, Shane Taylor, Geoff Stait, Penny & Josh Way as well as Robbo, Wendy Whitney and Roy Whitney for organising all the formalities and paperwork.
“On behalf of the Portland Touch Football Association, I would just like to thank all of the participants and the spectators that came out and supported this fantastic day. These kinds of events are only ever as good as the people that come along and have a go and we are very grateful for the tops day! We are looking forward to next year’s Nick Way!” Angela said.
To see all of the action of the day, be sure to log in to Facebook and search Portland Touch Football Association. Most images were kindly supplied by Penny Way Photography.