New top Cat wants to build up a family club

New vice-presdient of the Gympie Cats, Brett Hall.
New vice-presdient of the Gympie Cats, Brett Hall. Renee Pilcher

VICE-president of the Gympie Cats Brett Hall wants to expand from ground up into a place players are proud to come and bring their families

Q. As vice president of the Gympie Cats, you have taken over responsibility for the junior part of the club. How are things looking for 2013?

A. So far we are off to a fantastic start. We have a great new committee with a lot of enthusiasm and some great ideas.

We have signed River Dental, Signarama Gympie and Local Directories as sponsors and we are also in the process of signing a couple of major sponsors which will allow the club an opportunity to make some huge steps forward.

Our sign-on period is fast approaching and the truth is that success at our club will be determined by the number of players we have this year and in years to come.

Q. What do you enjoy about being involved with junior footy?

A. It is great to get the opportunity to see kids develop over time.

There is also something special about kids enjoying their individual achievements like a great tackle, big mark or a snap for goal.

Some kids may not get these opportunities every week but the look on their faces when something they have trained for comes off is priceless.

Q. What made you decide to be involved with the Cat's committee?

A. We knew that the previous committee were looking at stepping down after many years at the helm and I wanted to do my bit to help the club continue to move forward so that my son and his mates could continue to enjoy the sport they love in their home town.

We have a number of volunteers who have committed to be involved with the club this year, a couple of positions we are still looking to fill include Cool Cats co-ordinator and canteen convenor.

Q. Are you a fan of many other sports?

A. I am a bit of a sports fanatic. Cricket and Aussie rules are definitely my favorite sports, but I enjoy watching just about any sport including, rugby league, golf, tennis, swimming and athletics.

Q. What do you think is important to become a good Aussie rules player?

A. Attitude. You can have the best skills on the park, but if your attitude is not right then you will struggle for consistency.

If you have the right attitude, you will train hard, abide by team rules and be your best as often as you can.

Q. Can girls play?

A. Absolutely, girls are encouraged to join in with the boys up to and including the under-12 age group.

A longer-term goal for the club is to perhaps one day field a girls team in the Sunshine Coast all-girls competition which had its inaugural year in 2012 at under-15 level.

Q. What are some of the plans for Gympie junior AFL for 2013?

A. Our main goals revolve around player numbers. We want to bolster our player numbers in under-12, 14 and 16 but we really want to encourage as many Cool Cats competitors as possible.

If we are successful in this area the hope is that the numbers will continue to flow through to the older age groups over the coming years.

Our Cool Cats program is a great environment for youngsters to learn our great game. In a structured environment, the under-8 and under-10 kids get to play games Friday nights in Gympie. We would love to be able to field at least four teams in each age group this year. One initiative to help with increasing Cool Cats numbers has been to reduce registration fees for the year for under-8s to $85 and under-10s to $90.

Q. How will training and games be structured this year?

A. Our under-12, 14 and 16s will train Tuesday and Thursday nights and play on Sunday mornings.

These teams play home and away against teams from the Sunshine Coast.

Our Cool Cats play their games in Gympie on a Friday afternoon with training on Thursday nights.

We will also have Auskick at the club for five and six-year-olds one afternoon per week. If kids take part in their school Auskick in term one this year, they can join our club Auskick for no extra charge.

Q. What do you do when you have some spare time?

A. Apart from spending time with my fantastic family, I like to run.

I run six days a week and I have completed nine marathons in the past four years and I hope to be able to keep fit enough to keep running for many years to come.

Q. Your wife Tania is the club's registrar and son Lachie plays for the Cats. It must be nice to have that family element with the club.

A. We are trying to talk our daughter Grace into playing as well but she hasn't said yes, yet (but she is a great Cats supporter).

It is great that it is something we can do as a family.

We all enjoy a lot of different sports, so it is great that we can come together for footy season and all be involved. Within the club there are many families with more than one person involved in some way.

Q. Who are your favourite AFL players of all time?

A. My favourite players have been Gary Ablett senior and Wayne Carey. Both of these players were champions of their time in that either of them could single-handedly win games off their own boot and they were both spectacular to watch.

Q. Can you describe the spirit of the Gympie Cats?

A. The spirit our new committee aims to encourage that we want to be the "family club", where all players, coaches, umpires, volunteers are respected and we would be proud enough of our club and our players to invite all of our parents and grandparents to come along and enjoy a great day at the footy.

Player profile

Name: Brett Hall

Favourite food: Lasange

Favourite TV program: Homeland

Favourite music: Anything new and music by Guy Sebastian

Favourite movie: Avatar

Memorable moment in sport: Winning the 1991 senior premiership with Seymour Football Club, afterwhich I required a knee reconstruction.

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