Coaching young Roos for two decades

Roz Thomas has been coaching Auskick since the Blue Mountains Kangaroos’ first year, way back in 1999.

She first became involved in Australian football as part of her teaching degree, wrangling dozens of kids at Springwood Public School during afternoon clinics for her practical assessments. She had such a great time that she joined the Blue Mountains Kangaroos, coaching Auskick as a volunteer. The rest is history.

“I just love seeing the amount of growth and engagement in the kids from the beginning of the season to the end,” Roz said. “Parents can’t believe it. They look at me and say: ‘it’s like they know what they’re doing!’.”

Roz feels immense pride after teaching her Auskick participants new skills, but she also thrives on teaching parents the game too. “One of the best things about Auskick is parents get quite involved. It makes it fun for the whole family and really gives it a community feel.”

Sport connects communities and having coached around 800 girls and boys, Roz has made plenty of friendships throughout the years. “I encourage anyone to have a go at coaching,” she said. “There are so many great resources out there that you really don’t need to know anything about AFL, you just have to be willing to get involved.”

The Kangaroos’ Auskick team in 2000. The club is proud that in 2022, 35 per cent of participants are girls.


Volunteer of the Year

Roz Thomas – like so many in community sport – is an amazing volunteer. If you know Roz or someone like her, show your recognition and nominate them for Volunteer of the Year! There are prizes to be won across nine categories:

  • – TOYOTA AFL Community Volunteer
  • – NAB AFL Auskick Volunteer
  • – AFL Disability Inclusion Ambassador
  • – AFL Diversity National Ambassador
  • – AFL Senior Community Coach
  • – AFL Junior Community Coach
  • – AFL Primary School Teacher
  • – AFL Secondary School Teacher
  • – AFL National Community Umpiring Service

Nominations close on 31 July, so be quick!!