24 May, 2023

Award-winner has a Field day

Caboolture’s Zeke Field (pictured) has been rewarded for his many roles in rugby league, as he was named Community Coach of the Year in the QRL-based Community Volunteer Awards.

Award-winner has a Field day - feature photo

Nominations came from throughout the state, with QRL managers from the South-East, Central and Northern regions assessing the applicants.

The award winners were named on Monday last week, before a presentation takes place in the lead-up to State of Origin game two in Brisbane on June 21.

Mr Field coaches a Snakes U17 male team and also has numerous managerial and coaching roles in the female game, including the Queensland U15 indigenous team, Bunyas U17 team in the Murri Carnival, Outback Queensland U17 team, and Sunshine Coast Falcons U17 team.

A teacher at Tullawong State High School, Mr Field also has school-based roles including coach and convenor, as well as committee roles such as University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) president, Caboolture Snakes vice-president, and Bunyas committee member.

Mr Field said he felt “emotional” to win the award as he often doubted himself about doing the right thing, with the award showing that he “must be doing something right”.

A former junior player at Beerwah and Caloundra, Mr Field took a break from rugby league for a number of years after sustaining a spinal injury as a teen, before coming on board the Caboolture Snakes last year.

“I use rugby league as a tool to help people be better in life,” he said.

“I don’t think I know everything and am constantly learning, seeking feedback and trying to be better.

“I think that being relatable and approachable is (the) key to caring for the players, not just how they perform on the field but how school and home is going as well.

“Some people see this as their happy place and I don’t want to change that, but want to help them find happiness in other areas as well.”

Mr Field said it was a delicate balance of the sticks or carrots approach, although he readily conceded he was strict with regard to training and game management.

“We have a set of rules to follow as a team, and if they aren’t followed there are consequences,” he said.

“However, the carrot is more around effort.

“If there is a drill that is hard physically, if they push hard it will be shortened.

“If not, we all suffer for the entire drill.

“I find this builds the respect and discipline within the team, which is something I have learnt from Chris Bugden my mentor.

“I don’t accept inappropriate behaviour, and the team knows the boundaries.

“But there is plenty of time for a laugh and a joke to build positive relationships.”

A father of six, Mr Field said he couldn’t do what he does without the support of his wife, who was always there as a sounding board and “keeps me sane when I’m struggling with things”.

“Working with both the senior and junior clubs has its challenges, but I have people from both who help me out and make the transition easier,” he said.

“The senior club has been nothing but welcoming for our 17s to come (and) train with them, and learn from the older players.

“Finally my children are so accepting of all the time we spend at football and have made friends and get involved as well, if it’s not as ball kids or helping in the canteen.

“We are truly a football family.”


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