Phill Dodd Awarded Life Membership of ASSRL

Phill Dodd- ASSRL Life Membership Citation

Phill’s introduction to Rugby League administration was fast tracked after his self-confessed “ordinary” playing career was cut short by injuries from a motor-bike accident. He still had the passion that started as a young country kid, with one eye red and the other one green much to his St. George supporting father’s disdain.

In his last year at UNE, Phill had the opportunity to manage the Duval College team in 2nd Division of the local Armidale Barbato Shield Competition, where they won the Grand Final by one point. During his teaching time in north-west NSW (country) he was the u16 coach for Inverell High.

 

When he joined the ACT (Commonwealth as it was then) Teaching Service Phill found himself getting back involved with Rugby League very quickly. In his first year he assisted Michal Battenally with the Erindale College team and in his second year found himself managing a high school side coached by former ASSRL Schoolboys Coach, Peter Sollis. It was during this time in the late 1980’s that Phill found himself attending the ACTSRL meetings, which in a small organisation automatically put you on the committee. The knowledge that the ACTSRL as an organisation is unique in Australian school sport as was the first to represents both Primary and Secondary students, male and female, is something to be proud of.

In 1992 while involved with coaching the school Yr 7-8 side Phill was approached by the Convenor, Peter Sollis to become part of the Organising Committee for the ASSRL u18 Championship Carnival to be held in Queanbeyan at Seiffert Oval. This was his first involvement with the ASSRL that led to a commitment and involvement that lasted the next 24 years.

 

During this time, Phill spent many years on the executive of the ACTSRL serving as Schools Convenor, Secretary, Vice-President and President, being guided by ASSRL Life-Member Graeme Johnson and Treasurer Glyn Sargent. It was during the mid-90’s that he found himself attending the ASSRL Council Meetings as one of the ACTSRL Delegates, representing alongside former ASSRL u18 Schoolboys Coach, Mark Greer. He also got to be involved in discussions with the ARLD (Bill Palmer & Steve Palin) to help develop a strategy to engage and retain more junior players. It is always a challenge representing the smallest organisation geographically, particularly when you are in a one NRL-Team town with a small pool of players to select from, but it was a challenge Phill gladly took on and further enhanced/developed strong relationships with the Canberra Raiders and the wider ACT & Region community.

Around the turn of the century, he also enjoyed the challenge of being the ACTSRL u18 Representative Manager with Neil Henry as coach for three years, responsible for players such as Joel Monaghan and Michael Robertson. Phill completed his level 1 and 11 coaching courses in the late 90’s under the guidance of both Tim Sheens and Craig Bellamy.

 

Phill was involved in four ACTSSRL Championship carnivals hosted by the ACTSRL, three of them as Convenor. He was also responsible for finding sponsorship that allowed two Test Matches to be played in Canberra at Bruce Stadium with assistance from the Canberra Raiders, one against BARLA and one against the GBRL Academy side.

 

Consequently, he was asked by then-ASSRL President, Bruce Wallace to take on an honorary role as ASSRL Sponsorship Officer, being guided by Life-Member John Coates. Phill was also invited by Canberra Raiders CEO Don Furner to join the organising committee for the 2013 ANZAC Day Test.

Phill openly admits his time with ACTSRL and ASSRL is amongst the most memorable period of his life, and it was with a heavy heart that he had to finally admit his health issues had had a negative impact on his ability to do the jobs he had been elected to do and it was unfair to both players and other officials to pretend otherwise.

 

One of his many fond memories of his time with ASSRL was waiting to read the minutes of each meeting, because with Phil Beecher (Secretary), Phil Hall (QLD), Phil Schaefer (CIS), Phil Tobin (NSWCCC) & Phill Dodd (ACTSRL) all in attendance it wasn’t uncommon to hear “Moved Phil, Seconded by Phil” and we had to wait to see what we had been credited with!

 

He states ‘My many thanks to all of the wonderful folk I met on my ACTSRL & ASSRL journey and best wishes for continuing the good fight to ensure every player who desires the opportunity to be part of our great game gets that chance. Being involved is not about the personal rewards but rather knowing your efforts provide opportunities for so many others. It’s hard not to feel a certain pride when you see players you dealt with as schoolboys making it in First Grade.”




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