The Golden Boot touch football competition was held last Wednesday.
Every year, teams of police, fire and rescue squads and paramedics make the pilgrimage from across NSW to Narrandera to play touch football and have a gettogether.
While an opportunity for police to catch up and wind down is always going to be a good thing, this year the Golden Boot was raising money for a very worthy cause.
“We’re raising money for the Orme family,” explained Marc Lawrence, who was playing for the Riverina Police District. They lost their 19 year old son to suicide earlier in the year, young Harry.
“So the money will go to the Orme family, and they can make a donation to a mental health charity of their choosing, whether that is Black Dog, or Beyond Blue, or whatever they see fit.”
At this point, the competition raised a little over $8,500 for the Orme family. The Golden Boot always has a fundraising focus. Last year’s competition was raising funds for Senior Constable Troy ‘TJ’ Johnston, (Bathurst Police Station), who was left $20,000 out of pocket when Medicare deemed life-saving prostate removal surgery elective.
This year the grand final was down to the Central Met’s ODIN Vikings (Central Metropolitan Region Operational Support Group unit) against the Central West Thunder. The Vikings came out victorious in the end.
“All police teams were in the final, which was good,” Lawrence said.
“It’s a good opportunity as well for cops to come together and just have a social day and relax, and catch up with people we haven’t seen for a while.”
“We’re pretty fortunate in this job that we tend to move around across the state, but you still like to catch up with people you used to work with,” he said.
The teams aren’t limited to NSW either, with the Victorian Police sending a team up every year.
“They’re usually pretty competitive as well,” Lawrence said.
In addition to the police, the Narrandera Fire and Rescue also had a team in the competition. While paramedics are a common sight at the Golden Boot, this year the ambos were nowhere to be found.
“We’ve got 24 teams this year, which is probably the biggest we’ve had in terms of teams; it would probably equate to between 300 and 350 players.
“It just gets bigger and bigger each year, which is quite exciting,” Lawrence said.
The organisers of the Golden Boot wanted to thank the sponsors of the event, including Regional Express, Mizuno Australia, Focus On Furniture Wagga Wagga, Narrandera Gourmet Meats, Narrandera Bakery, Antech screen-printing, Narrandera Jewellers, Thirsty Crow, STEEDEN International, HART Sport, Police Bank, Bendigo Bank Narrandera, Subway (Griffith, Griffith Central, Narrandera and Young), and the Narrandera Shire Council.
The day was also successful due to the efforts of many volunteers who gave up their time to cook, keep score, referee and man the canteen.
The date has already been set for next year’s Golden Boot; November 13 2019 will be one for the calender.