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

TOP COACH: Meet Round 4 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: Why I coach: 8 selfless men and women making a difference

TOP COACH ROUND 2: 'Dedication and heart'- Meet 8 of Gympie's Top 40

TOP COACH ROUND 3: Meet Round 3 of Gympie's Top Coach finalists

ROUND 4: Gympie's Top Coach

Ryan Osborn, rugby league

Ryan Osborn
Ryan Osborn Contributed

HAVING played for the Mary Valley Stags rugby league team for a number of years, Ryan Osborn says he 'fell' into coaching the U7's Mary Valley Fawns.

"I just started this year. I was helping out in the afternoons and they asked me if I could coach fulltime," he said.

He may be green but according to Julie Rimmington, who nominated him, he's a coaching natural.

"Ryan is the epitome of the word 'coach'. He has limitless patience; cares about the kids; imparts his extensive knowledge to upcoming athletes in a way they can understand and is clearly there to make sure the kids learn in a fun and supporting environment. Win or lose, the kids have fun, get fit and learn. They are lucky to have him," she wrote.

Osborn said it's been a lot of fun getting to know the children and watching them progress and gain skills.

He said his role is mainly to encourage the children to "have a go," instilling the rules and having his charges stick with the game.

"It's about learning something new, having a little bit of competition and having a go. If you don't make it, that's okay, you can get back up and have another go next week. Rugby allows you to do that," he said.

Anthony 'Chicko' Reid, football

Gympie Gladiators 2019 - Anthony Reid left back.
Gympie Gladiators 2019 - Anthony Reid left back. Bec Singh

SOME of Gympie's smallest and most enthusiastic football players are off to a flying start under the guidance of Anthony "Chicko” Reid.

The Diggers Football Club coach, who is also the club's vice-president, oversees the club's three under-6 teams and is the perfect example of positivity, according to those who work with him.

Chicko still dons the jersey for the Gympie United Football Club men's second division team and is a the mathematics department head at James Nash State High School.

It's the perfect skill set for teaching young players the right attitude for the game.

Diggers Football Club President Shirl Bembrick said not only was Chicko helpful in every aspect in the club, he was patient and full of positive feedback for his budding juniors.

"He's always so positive - and is always giving positive feedback and offers support when it's needed,” Shirl said.

"You can see that when they're with him they're engaged and it makes it fun for them and that's what it's all about.”

Sonia Cranston, rugby league

Sonia Cranston
Sonia Cranston Contributed

CRANSTON put her hand up to coach the Gympie Devils Rabbitohs under-7s because they needed someone but she has learnt to love the position.

The moment before the team runs onto the field and the debrief after the match stands out for her.

"At the beginning of the game before we run out on the field we put our hands in and yell 'Go Rabbitohs' it just gets them all excited," she said.

"When the team comes together after the game and the group is all listening to what everyone is saying."

Despite being new to coaching there is plenty that Cranston takes away from interacting with the team.

"It is gratification that the kids are learning and developing and excited to see you," she said.

"I like seeing the children learning from you, building that relationship with them that they trust and respect you."

Her coaching style is simple but she said it seems to be effective.

"I am firm, fair and fun," she said.

"You have to be firm otherwise they do not listen and fair to them all, encourage them all and make it fun."  

Rex Carney, Jiu-Jitsu

Gympie Terra Luta - Rex Carney
Gympie Terra Luta - Rex Carney Troy Jegers

A MAN just as dedicated to the craft of "beautiful violence" as he was when he started training about 10 years ago, Gympie's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu aficionado Rex Carney can be credited with opening the door for the sport in the region.

Carney initially started Terra Luta Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as an extension of his feed barn about eight years ago as a place for him to train, but what was initially a small operation soon became one of the Gympie sporting arena's most passionate and close-knit families.

Carney's constant application to his students' development in the sport is reflected by his strong backing in The Gympie Times' search for the region's favourite coach, with many singling out his commitment to creating a positive and inspiring environment for every student in his gym.

"Honestly my intent at the start was to build a group of people I could train hard with to give me good training," Carney said.

"I've got a good core group of guys to train with, and it's also good to see the improvement of others. What I get out of coaching is being able to see the development of skills and character.”


Elissa Lyon, gymnastics

Elissa Lyon gymnastic coach. Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times
Elissa Lyon gymnastic coach. Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times Renee Pilcher

AFTER having coached gymnastics in Gympie for 30 years, Elissa Lyon knows a thing or two about being a coach.

Her secret coaching technique is to be both strict with the kids, while also being friendly and approachable at the right times.

And clearly it has worked as a few of Elissa's students have gone on to achieve level 10 in gymnastics as well as placed in trampoline events at both the state and national level. Elissa coaches a variety of young gymnasts from the ages of five to 17, though she focuses more on those who are looking to compete.

One of the things Elissa loves about her coaching job is that she gets to see her students achieve what they have worked for, especially if they have had to work hard for that goal. She has helped many students develop a love for gymnastics and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Graham Grummitt, Australian Football Rules

Aussie Rules, Graham Grummitt Gympie Cats vs Maroochydore Roos
Aussie Rules, Graham Grummitt Gympie Cats vs Maroochydore Roos Leeroy Todd

SHARING a passion for the game he's loved his whole life, Gympie Cats under-14s coach Graham Grummitt has already made a huge mark at the club since taking up the role upon his move to the region two years ago.

Born into one of the rare Queensland families fully immersed in Aussie Rules in the Brisbane area, Grummitt remembers a time when it was hard to field teams each weekend, even in the state's capital.

"My father and brothers played footy in Brisbane. I was born into it I suppose, like a Victorian,” Grummitt recalled. "It was difficult playing in Queensland back in the day, but to see the way it's grown is unbelievable.”

Coaching was a new chapter for Grummitt when he started at the Cats in season 2018, but already he has managed to lead the under-14s to an encouraging fifth-place finish in the Sunshine Coast Division 1 competition this year.

And he did it with a combined Gympie-Hinterland outfit, made up of teammates who hadn't played together before.

"I'm very happy with the result this year, you see new kids coming through each year and they're completely new to the sport,” he said.

As son Isaac prepares for a move to the under-16 age bracket next year, Grummitt has designs on continuing his coaching journey in Gympie for years to come.

Ben Lawley, roller hockey

Fraser Coast Wings and Wheels at Maryborough Airport - Ben Lawley and son Hudson,7, from Gympie in their 1959 Edsel Ranger.
Fraser Coast Wings and Wheels at Maryborough Airport - Ben Lawley and son Hudson,7, from Gympie in their 1959 Edsel Ranger. Alistair Brightman

ALTHOUGH new to the position of coach, Ben Lawley is giving it his all as he coaches the beginning ladies in roller hockey.

After playing roller hockey himself for a while, Ben decided to share his love and knowledge of the sport to encourage more players to become interested in playing roller hockey.

Despite having only been coaching for the past six months, Ben has come to love the satisfaction he gets from seeing his players excitedly gearing up for a game or training session or learning and mastering new skills.

He loves to see them show the same enthusiasm for the sport that he has.

While many coaches may have more strict coaching methods, Ben's methods are more laid back and relaxed as he helps his players keep the focus on fun.

Ben is looking forward to more coaching and sharing his love of roller hockey with new players.

Jeff Cranston, touch football and rugby league

Touch football coach Jeff Cranston
Touch football coach Jeff Cranston Contributed

ALTHOUGH he can no longer play much sport himself due to various injuries, local touch football and rugby coach Jeff Cranston hasn't let that stop him sharing his love and knowledge of the sports with the kids. Jeff coaches not just one, but three mixed gender teams of varying ages between 12 and under in both touch football and rugby league.

"I think it's really helping mould better people for the future,” Jeff said.

"They learn more by playing the game.”

Jeff has been coaching for the past four years, beginning as a way to encourage his kids to take part and wanting to fill the need for coaches.

In his years coaching, he has put an emphasis on getting his teams to learn when to pay attention and listen to him.

Jeff firmly believes this emphasis will help expand their attention span and be helpful to them in and out of sports for years to come.

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