By Chris Curulli
Tom Miles is a remarkable community figure who is this year planning to step down from the board of Manly Vale FC after 28 years of service.
Miles started playing for the club in 1985, before joining the committee in 1992 and remaining an integral member of it since.
During that time he has served as Secretary, President, and Vice President (sub juniors) – a role held since his 25-year-old son was the age of four.
Tom has been ever-present as the club’s participation grew from 400 to 1,200 registered players and relishes the feeling of introducing young players and their families to the sport he loves.
“I think one of the best things about being involved on the committee is seeing our young children run onto the field for the first time,” Miles said.
“Their parents are excited, the children are excited, everybody’s excited about that first ever game of football.
“And that’s what I enjoy most about the role – introducing people to the game and watching them enjoy it.”
One of Tom’s proudest memories is his involvement in the rise of girl’s and women’s football over recent years.
“The growth of women’s football and more girls and women playing the game has been great to see,” Miles reflected.
“Manly Vale have been at the forefront, being one of the bigger women’s clubs.
“A couple of years ago and I coached an under six all girls team at Manly Vale and all ten of the girls wore pink boots. Three or four of those girls are now playing for Manly United.
“It’s good to see that they’ve stuck with the game and they’re still wearing pink boots.”
Not only has Tom committed countless voluntary hours to grassroots football, he also continues to serve the community in many ways.
“I enjoy working for the council in coordinating our Meals on Wheels service and I’m also involved with Scouts Australia as a district scout leader,” he said.
“I volunteer because I enjoy helping the community and getting things done.
“I suppose I developed a strong sense of community from my parents, so I’ve certainly got them to thank for that.”
While he has advised Manly Vale of his plans to step down in an official capacity, Miles admitted it would be tough to keep him away from David Thomas.
“I’m looking forward to a bit of a break and perhaps volunteering somewhere else,” he said.
“I’ll still be involved at Manly Vale, down on the sidelines supporting the teams. The friendships I’ve got out of the game mean a lot to me.”
Do you know a remarkable figure within the MWFA community who deserves a profile like this one? Let us know! email@example.com