Sports Hall of Fame Inductee
Category: Sports Honour Roll
Sport: Administrator (AFL and Cricket)
When sports people perform, they need the support of trainers, masseurs and organisers to help their sport succeed. Katandra Dairy Farmer Richie Mann was someone who has provided wonderful support to sports participants for over 50 years.
Richie took to learning the job of sports trainer and helping sports people with injuries. He did play Table Tennis and represented the area at Country Week.
He first managed the junior football team at Katandra and acted as trainer for the senior team. He coached junior athletes to participate in sports carnivals, including running a Katandra sports day each year.
With support from his friend Jim Phillips was able to start a thirds competition and then a fourths competition in the then Tungamah League. Richie was president of both competitions. The best player award in the 3rds won the Richie Mann medal.
In the early 1960s Shepparton teacher Graeme Fithall enlisted Richies help in taking a Goulburn Valley Junior football team to Melbourne to play in the Schoolboys’ Carnival. That commenced a 50 year involvement with those GV schoolboys’ teams. There was no prouder person than Richie when some of those players eventually made the VFL or AFL. Richie’s Junior football support was noticed at State level and he was recruited to become a trainer for the Victorian schoolboys team. Richie travelled throughout Australia for 37 years as the trainer for Victorian schoolboys. He became friends of many of them. One particular weekend Richie checked the AFL team selections in the paper and counted 94 players he had been involved with in Schoolboys football.
Yet through all this he could still be found in the Katandra rooms on training nights and on match days rubbing down and treating players. He also became president of the Katandra Football Club.
He was concerned at the lack of education for sports trainers and convinced two local doctors to undertake sports trainers courses so they could in turn conduct training sessions for local trainers. Richie was an inaugural member of the Goulburn Murray Sports Trainers Association.
In the summer Richie turned his interest to supporting junior cricket. He became the president of the Shepparton Junior Cricket Association, a position he held for more than 20 years.
He promoted the Shepparton Junior Country Week cricket carnival which has run successfully for forty years.
He was also involved in organising the G.V. Schoolboys Cricket team to represent the area at the State Carnival. Simon O’Donnell was one of those players who went on to bigger things.
The community and sporting bodies have really appreciated Richie’s support and involvement and he has been honoured to receive no less than 9 Life Memberships. The AFL presented him with a recognition of Service award and he received a Centenary Sports Medal. He was honoured when the Victorian Governor presented him with the Order of Australia Medal for services to sport and the community.
The City of Greater Shepparton now recognises Richies’ commitment and support of junior sport with induction into the sports Hall of Fame roll of Honour.