Rachel Grant Well for my last official written piece for TFA, I thought I would do ‘My top 10 moments or things’ during my time with TFA.1) The staff at TFA…may well sound corny but I doubt you will ever come across a group of people more dedicated to their work. There have certainly been some difficult times for the sport, and currently still are, but these people give 100% in everything they do and really want to see the sport succeed. They take a lot of flak everyday and continue to put the sport first. I have a lot of respect for these people as both my work colleagues and my friends and will miss them dearly.2) The volunteers Australia-wide…There are so many volunteers in our sport that do so much work for so little reward or even thanks, which makes them incredibly special people! Cathy Gray, Ian Matthew, Lou Tompkins, Dennis Coffey, the Australian Coaches and staff, technical panel members and more. There are so many others that work incredibly hard at a local level doing so much for the sport, like Matt Wood from Woolgoolga Touch, who comes along to all TFA events at Coffs Harbour and gives up his days to help with the event. I want to thank everyone who I have worked with for the way you give yourself so selflessly to the sport. I cannot finish number 2 without mentioning Lisa Plummer, my media off-sider who has provided so much friendship, help and assistance with national events and the monthly newsletter and also the boys ‘From the Fishbowl’, Adam and Kane. They have amused us at recent National 18’s and NTL’s with their wit and humour, while expertly providing commentary and keeping the whole day in control. I will definitely miss their voices over the loudspeaker.3) The 2005 Youth World Cup is easily the biggest event of my career to date, organising national and international media for the 6 Aussie junior teams and the event itself.The Youth World Cup had many ‘moments’, with some of the standouts including: · The South Africans singing in the Opening Ceremony· The Mixed 18’s performing out of their skin to claim their title · The Thailand team being convincingly thrashed in every match but still showing the utmost respect to their team mates, officials, opposition and crowd· The dramatic Mens 20’s final and the exceptional performance of the Aussies 4) The Northern Eagles Mens 20’s winning the 2006 NTL was one of the most emotional sporting events I have ever been privileged enough to see. The boys, their support staff and their families all handled themselves so incredibly well after the traumatic events leading up to the NTL. 5) The 2005 National Under 18’s saw for the first time, the celebrity match…and who could go past guest referee Tony Eltakchi in his finest form, the Jamaican Dr Bruce Watts, Kane Weeks letting no player stand in his way, Joe Williams letting his stepping do the talking, Peter Topp being sin binned and Eltakchi’s final penalty “penalty for being too good!” They had us all in stitches. 6) Sixty Seconds in Touch has become my weekly ritual, a chance to sum up the happenings of the week and the upcoming events. A chance for people to advertise, announce and highlight important things. My awesome husband took it upon himself to design me a logo and the weekly edition has now become the most-read article on the TFA website with around 1000 people logging on each Monday to read it. I hope it will continue on!7) Another memory comes courtesy of two of our young Touch stars who has gone on to play in the NRL, Benji Marshall and Joe Williams…Many will remember the AusTouch launch and National 18’s Opening Ceremony where Joe Williams fell off the stage but composed himself beautifully…how his chair managed to make it’s way to the edge of the stage is only a question Benji can answer. My thanks go to Joe and to Benji who always made themselves available for interviews, promoting the sport, talking and encouraging the up and coming junior players.8) The TFA Media & Marketing Kit is something I’ve been working on for a few months and have madly been completing this last week. I created the final Master DVD on Friday and will leave TFA staff to produce a copy of the Kit for every affiliate. It contains marketing essentials such as posters, a television advert, a 3 minute promotional clip and plenty of helpful documents such as ‘How to write a Media Release’, ‘How to maintain your website’ and much more. It will be distributed Australia-wide to every affiliate over the coming weeks!9) TFA staff put in an incredible amount of time and effort to produce the 2006 NTL Opens finals for the Fox Sports production. It would be remiss of me not to include it here as it was fantastic to see the sport back on the national airwaves and the show put on by the players in all 3 finals was fantastic.10) The Touch-e-Talk newsletter has been running monthly for over 1 year now and I hope it will continue to get bigger and better…eventually to the stage where it can be printed and produced professionally…keep reading and keep supporting ideas such as this so TFA can get them off the ground.