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first_imgTouch Football Australia would like to congratulate two of the hardest working members of our community on being short-listed in the Confederation of Australian Sport (CAS) 27th Annual Sports Awards.Respected Referee Luke Mc Kenzie has been nominated for Official of the Year, whilst outgoing Federation of International Touch (FIT) President Cary Thompson has been recognised in the Volunteer of the Year category for 2007.Both gentlemen have impressed the voting panel with their record of service and quality contributions to our game.In a “New media” format, the Top three nominees were announced yesterday live on the CAS website in 18 different Gold and Silver Award categories, with both Cary and Luke snaring a spot in the final three in their respective areas of expertise.On Wednesday 20 February, the winners will be announced on the CAS Australian Sports Awards website at www.australiansportsawards.com.au and at www.sbs.com.au and will include video interviews and presentations of the Awards to each of the category winners.Cary has been nominated alongside Greg Mc Lennan (Life Saving) and Robert Middleton (Lawn Bowls) who both have an impressive catalogue of service to their respective sports.Luke will be up against some tough opposition in his category with Tammy Ogston, who refereed the Women’s Football World Cup final in 2007, and Barbara Morgan, who was the Chief Referee at the 2007 Australian Pool Lifesaving Championships and other International events standing between Luke and the coveted award.Luke’s nomination is even more metorious when you consider that officials of the ilk of National Rugby League  Telstra Grand Final Referee Tony Archer were overlooked for the finalist stage of this category.Luke was honoured, but shocked with the news of his shortlisting this morning.“It’s great – you don’t chase recognition, but it’s nice to think you’ve made a worthwhile contribution and it is appreciated. I’m a bit stunned really and very grateful for the nomination,” Mc Kenzie said.Touch Football Australia has a fine history in the event with  teams, coaches, officials and administrators being nominated for the awards in previous years.Cary’s nomination in the Volunteer of the Year category is back to back recognition for the sport in this area.Cathy Gray, TFA’s Director of Elite Programs, was a finalist in the Volunteer of the Year category last year, whilst in a major coup for the sport, Touch Football Australia,under the direction of Information Technology guru Jon Pratt, collected the Information Technology Award at last year’s ceremony.Luke and Cary have good reason to be optimistic about their chances of claiming the top award when their catelogue of achievements is examined.Luke Mc Kenzie achieved a life long ambition when he officiated in the 2007 FIT World Cup Women’s Open Final in Stellenbosch in January. Mc Kenzie is highly respected in Australian Touch circles for his tireless voluntary service to the game.In 2007, Luke travelled to over 20 tournaments around the nation to officiate, coach, deliver courses, and mentor fellow referees of all levels and abilities.Luke took on Volunteer Administration duties for the “Southern Suns” NTL Permit and has done an exceptional job to ensure the Suns have been at the forefront of development efforts in NSW. He was awarded the 2007 NSWTA “Rod Wise” Medal for Volunteer of the Year and is the President of his local affiliate Wagga, of which he’s been a board member of for 9 years.Luke is a wonderful role model  who has the respect and admiration of many, his passion for officiating and voluntary administration is exemplary and his recognition in this way is fitting.Mr. Cary Thompson has made a monumental contribution to the sport of Touch Football.The President of FIT since 1991, Mr. Thompson has been a prime mover in the development of the sport that now has 33 full time member nations globally.Cary has an illustrious record in sports administration. He has been awarded 9 Life memberships of various Touch Football Associations, including TFA and the NSWTA, of which he was a founding member. He has assisted in the constitutional framework of 10 associations.He has also authored 13 publications on the sport and written 30 educational articles.He has held numerous honorary positions at all levels including Director of the TFA Board, Chairman of TFA Selectors, and National Coaching Director. He has been awarded the ASC “Excellence in Touch” (1988) The “Unice Gill Coach Education Award” (1998) Australian Government – “Sports Australia Award” (2001) and the Touch Football Australia “Lifetime Achievement Award” (2007).Mr. Thompson has shown outstanding leadership and administrative skills in his 36-year association with the game and the sport is well established at all levels due largely to his unstinting commitment and passion.The modest Thompson deflected the recognition and thanked those people he has serves so dilligently in his life long association with the game.“It’s a lovely honour… but I feel that I’ve just done what anyone would do; and it’s always been about doing things to help people enjoy our sport better so this is more for them than me, but it’s great for the game to be acknowledged,” Mr. Thompson saidTouch Football Chief Executive Officer Mr. Colm Maguire heaped praise on the duo, citing their contributions as indicitive of the quality of the Volunteer army in our game.“Both these gentleman have contributed so much to the game and it is typical of the quality of people we have working in our affiliates. Luke has been unstinting in his dual roles as referee and administrator, and Cary is one of the true legends of our game. His time, energy, expertise, and passion for the sport from grass root to International has been outstanding and the recognition is overdue,” Mr. Maguire said.The Touch Football community congratulates both these fine ambassadors of the sport on their nomination and short listing and wish them the very best for their future.Check out all the nominees in all the categories by visiting the CAS Sports Awards website at:  www.australiansportsawards.com.aulast_img read more