Darren Geiger, from Kingaroy, has been named the South Burnett’s Top Coach for 2017.
Darren has been part of the South Burnett community for the past 23 years and has been a coach and/or administrator for a wide range of school and club sports during that time, ranging from U6s to A Grade and Queensland representative sides.
Rugby league and cricket are his major areas, but he has also been involved in convening or administering athletics, AFL, swimming and softball at club and inter-school levels.
Darren has held the position of the Kingaroy Red Ants senior coach since 2013, and was one of the club’s junior coaches for 10 years prior to that.
He has also been president and coach of the Kingaroy RSL Services Cricket Club’s A and B Grade sides since 1997, as well as captaining the A grade team from 1995 to 2013.
Darren’s extensive coaching and administrating talents have seen him convening many South Burnett and Wide Bay sports trails for cricket, AFL and athletics, as well as coaching the U12 Queensland Rugby League team in 2016.
Other nominees for Coach/Official Of The Year were:
- Geoff French – Geoff, from Nanango, has been training and working in martial arts in the South Burnett for the past 10 year. He kicked off Karate4kids in 2008 and now operates a number of martial arts schools across the South Burnett, as well as some outside. He also formed the South Burnett Karate Association, which has helped him generate more financial and other support to help more students and their families participate in martial arts, including students facing the challenges of Downs Syndrome, aspergers and autism.
- Leanne Sippel – Leanne, from Murgon, has been involved in a number of sporting and community groups in the Murgon area for many years. She is president of the Murgon Tennis Club, is part of the Moffatdale School P&C, and is secretary and president of the Murgon Cricket Club.
Leanne has been heavily involved in organising events and promoting better health and education for children through the Evonne Goologong Foundation, and off field she uses her skills to write grant applications which have secured equipment and improvements for local sports clubs. Recently she has taken up additional roles in refereeing touch football and starting a karate dojo, and continues to expand her personal knowledge by completing studies in Health Science and Bowen Therapy.
- Vicky Parry – Vicky, from Wondai, has had an association with rugby league for over 30 years. She has been a member of the Wondai Proston Junior Rugby League Club for the past 10 years, holding positions such as Registrar (three years) and four years as canteen convener. Her commitment to attending meetings, fundraising events, crowd control, mini/mod carnivals, U43kg carnival (hosted by the Murgon Junior Rugby League Club) and supporting anyone who wants to learn and play rugby league is highly valued by her club and community.
- Colin Pidgeon – Colin, from Murgon, loves rugby league, and has contributed his management skills to the senior Murgon Rugby League Football club since 1999, holding a wide variety of roles including president and treasurer. He has managed A Grade teams (14 years), Under 18 teams (3 years) and Reserve Grade teams (2 years), and at times has concurrently managing the Wide Bay Country team (3 years) as well. He has also coached the Under 18s into the finals, managed U19 and senior teams in the Sunshine Coast competition for 2 years, is a Level 1 referee and also announces games and scores from the broadcasting box. Colin also helps out in the canteen, and is a delegate to the South Burnett Senior League and Murgon United Sports Association for the Mustangs. He is currently tracking down copies of team photos and memorabilia for the Mustangs history wall at the clubhouse.
- Lauren Schipanski – Lauren, from Nanango, has a passion for soccer as has been a member of the Nanango Soccer Club since the age of six. Using the skills and experiences she developed playing soccer at South Burnett and Wide Bay levels, and with the Toowoomba Raiders during her high school years, Lauren now coaches the Nanango Panthers 1st and 2nd Division teams, steering the First Division team to its fifth consecutive Grand Final victory in 2016.
Lauren has received awards for her coaching and contribution to football at a South Burnett and South West level.