TOP COACH: These inspiring Gympie men and women are nominated for Gympie's Top Coach. Have your say now in the online poll.
TOP COACH: These inspiring Gympie men and women are nominated for Gympie's Top Coach. Have your say now in the online poll. Contributed

LEGENDS: Meet Round 3 of Gympie's Top Coach finalists

IN CASE you didn't have reason enough to vote for Gympie's Top Coach, here is why these dedicated Gympie men and women do what they do.

The Gympie Times is on the hunt for Gympie's Top Coach. After an overwhelming response from readers The Gympie Times has narrowed down the finalist list to 40.

To decide Gympie's top coach we need you to vote in the poll by clicking the link below.


But first we want you to meet our finalists below:


TOP COACH ROUND 1: 'Dedication and heart'- Meet 8 of Gympie's Top 40

TOP COACH ROUND 2: Why I coach: 8 selfless men and women making a difference

ROUND 3: Gympie's Top Coach

Shereene Moy, multiple sports


Shortlisted as one of Gympie's Top Coaches is Gympie South School teacher, coach, manager and organiser for school sports and district sports for 10-12 year olds is Shereene Moy.
Shortlisted as one of Gympie's Top Coaches is Gympie South School teacher, coach, manager and organiser for school sports and district sports for 10-12 year olds is Shereene Moy. Donna Jones

THERE are many people in the Gympie region who met Shereene Moy when they were 10-12 years old.

Shereene has been coaching from more than 30 years, and in Gympie for more than 24 years; ever since she transferred here.

She coaches cross country, athletics, swimming, boy's and girl's rugby league and cricket at schools, boy's touch, boy's and girl's rugby league and athletics at the district level and is a regional manager for Wide Bay swimming and Wide Bay boy's touch.

Shereene said she loves teaching and coaching, and seeing the children she coaches improve and learn.

"I love it so my motto is do it while you can. As a teacher I'm lucky because I can leave school and just continue coaching," she said.

Joe Laffey nominated Shereene, saying;" Definitely Shereene Moy for her ability over a prolonged period to coach a broad range of sports and generously volunteering her time outside school hours for the benefit of thousands of athletes throughout Gympie, Wide Bay and Queensland. This lady is an inspiration."

Ben Fitzpatrick, hockey


Ben Fitzpatrick summer hockey program Gympie
Ben Fitzpatrick summer hockey program Gympie Troy Jegers

DOING a job he loves is a major perk for Ben Fitzpatrick.

His role as coaching director for Gympie Hockey means he gets to work with hockey players at all skill levels, from the very beginners, the young children starting up in the Hook Into Hockey, the Academy, working with children 10 to 18-years-old, right up to coaching the Cooloola Heat women compromised of players aged 15-40.

Ben has been in his dream job for five years now but has been coaching for 25 years.

In his "spare time" he is also head coach of the Queensland U15 Boys and a selector for the Queensland U18 team.

"I really love working with the young kids and seeing them improve over the season; watching people get better - that's the best part. I don't do it for the accolades," Ben said.

He was nominated by fellow coach Hannah Collyer.

"We are lucky to have a coach with such knowledge, skills and passion! Also, coaching us coaches to be better," she wrote.

Kylie Wheeler, football


Kylie Wheeler.
Kylie Wheeler. Josh Preston

DETERMINED to pave a way for young footballers, Kylie Wheeler has always led by example on and off the pitch.

The passionate coach, who has played competitively since 2004, began her coaching career when she first led an U9s girls team in an under U10s boys competition.

She went on to coach three other senior girls teams, two senior boys teams and is now the dedicated coach of the Gympie United Under 16 girls team.

Kylie has also been victorious in coaching girls representative teams. Last year her under 16s Gympie team was undefeated in a Wide Bay competition.

"I was excited to see the interest in females growing in the sport and wanted to be a part of it and see it grow," Kylie said.

Knowing what players need to stay motivated is a skill she has mastered after thriving under coaches in Gympie Lions Football Club and Gympie and Wide Bay rep teams.

"I am more of a strategic coach rather than a technical coach. I try to make it fun by having extra fun activities for the players on top of their normal regular sessions."

"This year I took the girls to the Gympie pool for a pool recovery session."

Kylie's proudest moment was in 2017 when the two U16 boys teams she coached faced off against each other in the grand final.

"The juniors are our future and I have played with so many of the girls that have come up through the ranks."

Stacey Thompson


Stacey Thompson
Stacey Thompson Contributed

STARTING out coaching a junior netball team in Cooroy, Stacey Thompson soon caught the coaching bug.

She coached various teams off and on for the last 18 years and underwent various training to learn how to be a better coach.

This season she is coaching the Gympie Blaze, for girls aged 11-15 of all abilities.

In her coaching Stacey emphasises a "play hard, but have fun" approach and tries to make sure the game is always fun for her team and they have positive thoughts of the game as a way to get fit, learn new skills, learn how to work together, and to play a great game.

Though, she does admit to being a little tough when she makes the girls do their laps.

To Stacey, being a coach and watching her team grow is a rewarding experience that she will always cherish.

Trudy McKee


Netball coach Trudy McKee
Netball coach Trudy McKee Leeroy Todd

A MUM would step up and do anything to make her children happy and see them smile.

And that's just what Trudy McKee did when her daughter's netball team needed a coach in 2013. For the seven years since then she has continued to coach netball, with this year's team being the Victory Fire for 13 to 17-year-old girls.

With seven years of coaching experience as well as having earned various certificates and learned how to be a better coach, Trudy doesn't plan to stop coaching any time soon.

Not only does she love the sport, she loves seeing how her team grows throughout the season as they improve their netball skills and learn to work as a team.

One of Trudy's preferred strategies for helping her team to improve is to take note of what is happening at the games and use those notes to work with the girls in their training session to tackle any weak spots in their game.

Laurence Epstein, rugby union


Rugby union coach Laurence Epstein
Rugby union coach Laurence Epstein Contributed

PLAYING the game is what steered Laurence Epstein into coaching Gympie rugby union players.

And this year he became head coach of the Hammers, including head coach of the Hammers Rugby Sevens.

"I sort of got the Hammers into the Sevens game. It's kind of an off-season game and it's very good for developing skills and techniques. It's good development for players generally.

The big highlight this season was beating Noosa 29-0.

"It was the fist time Gympie has beaten Noosa in more than 20 years, I'm told.

"We've just been really competitive this year. Beating Noosa was pretty good.

"Traditionally Gympie has been near the bottom of the ladder, but this year, not so much.

"We play the regular 15s game in the normal rugby season and Sevens tournaments crop up during the rest of the year."

Epstein described his coaching style as "very technique based - technique and structure."

He said this puts players on the field with a sense of real purpose.

"Never say die" is the attitude he says he tries to build in to the team.


Gavin Hourigan, football


Gavin Hourigan
Gavin Hourigan Contributed

AFTER devoting six years to coaching his son's junior Columbia football team, this year Gavin took coaching to a competitive level.

Working with his son again, he has led the Gympie United U13 boys division 2 team, an amalgamation of juniors from Gympie clubs playing in the Sunshine Coast Football league.

Proud of the determination of his developing players, Gavin said their passion never tired.

"They were all on opposite teams last year so we got them all to gel together this year and work together as a team," Gavin said.

"Seeing the kids develop, watching them improve their ball skills and team play and the friendships they get out of it, that's one of the big things.

"It's an opportunity for them to make fiends out of school."

Calm, encouraging and devoted is how team manager Carmel Window describes Gavin's coaching style.

"The biggest thing with being a coach is to be patient because all the kids develop at different levels - some might pick things up straight away - others need time."

Danny Wilton, touch football


Danny Wilton
Danny Wilton Contributed

GYMPIE Touch coach Danny Wilton works with the Gympie District Girls U16, U14 and U12 teams, spending his time helping the girls to do well in a sport he loves.

He has been playing and teaching touch and rugby league since 2007 and particularly likes the social aspect.

"You get to teach them to do well, and to believe in their own abilities and witness their personal growth, but you also get to be in the club and make new friends - I really like the social side of it," he said.

Wilton has helped his teams compete at the state finals in the past and recently took the teams to the State Touch Cup in Hervey Bay.

He described his coaching style as a little like Wayne Bennett's; evolving with time and continuing to gain skills with training and diplomacy.

"I think we get the best results when the players are happy within themselves and more confident,"he said.

He was nominated by Mahri Dobson "for all his hard work across every age group at Gympie Touch".

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