Jason Phillips awarded Life Membership of AFL North Coast

Jason Phillips has been awarded Life Membership of AFL North Coast for his dedicated service to local footy, with his links to the League spanning many of its 40 seasons.

Having played in the Senior ranks as a teenager in the mid to late 80s, Jason resumed his involvement as a player when he returned to the region in the mid 90s. Once his son Harry was old enough to start playing, Jason joined the committee of the Coffs Swans which proved to be his introduction to League administration.

From his role with the Swans, Jason joined the North Coast Junior Committee before stepping up to the President role for several years. Under the League management structure of the day, the Juniors’ President role was also a member of the Board of AFL North Coast, so Jason wore both hats for a period until he stepped up and became Chairman of the AFL North Coast League overseeing all aspects of footy within the region.

It was this significant and highly valued contribution at League level that saw Jason awarded Life Membership.

“Completely unexpected, it’s an honour,” said Jason upon receiving the acknowledgment.

“I love footy, I still love going along and watching it.

“Footy locally within the competition has evolved massively. It’s definitely developed professionally from what it was. It seems from my experience of going along and watching the games locally, the atmosphere at the game and the conduct of the players, spectators, and officials is a lot more professional. Better quality facilities, the umpires, the whole quality has improved. If I was coming into the area I’d be super impressed by the way the game’s being administered and run.”

During Jason’s time he was involved in the merger of the North Coast and Mid North Coast Junior Competitions, and led the process to transition the League from an affiliated model to the AFL managed model that exists today.

Paul Taylor from AFL North Coast said that Jason is a shining example of the positive influence that volunteers can have in community sport. “There’s no doubt that Jason was at the forefront of much of the positive change that we’ve seen in local AFL over the past 15 years.

“Not only was he involved in the implementation of those changes, he led the way on many initiatives and had a major influence on the positive outcomes that were achieved.

“Our League has had a number of outstanding volunteer administrators over the 40 years and Jason is right up there amongst the best. I’m pleased and honoured to be able to award him Life Membership for all of his contributions and achievements.”