For the love of the game: Joan Baillie

Joan Baillie takes an enquiring look skywards out the front window before returning to the lounge room to finish packing her bag. 

She adds to her weekly contents some wet weather gear and an extra sweater.

“Might rain!”  she declares, and she would know.  This is something Joan has done every week in winter for 54 years for her beloved Souths Logan Magpies.

What started as an invite by a friend to help in the canteen has turned into a lifetime of love and devotion. 

When she arrives on game day she takes up her post, rain, hail or shine at the turnstiles and collects everyone’s entry fees. 

Behind her on the wall, proudly displayed, hangs the corporate apparel that she is more than happy to promote and sell. 

She does this with aplomb, leaving you wondering if she works at a retailer like Myers or David Jones.

She has supported Souths since she was 15 years old.  She went with friends and sat on the hill at the old Lang Park when Souths ran out against Norths.

Her friends were Norths supporters and she was from the Southside and decided from that day Souths would be her team. 

So, when her friend asked her to help in the canteen several years later, she was more than happy.

Her service is not restricted to game day, mid-week she comes and helps with administration tasks, sorting mail and helping with the planning events.

She also runs the occasional meat tray raffle when other volunteers can’t attend.

Joan is one of an army of unpaid volunteers that keeps football clubs running all over the state, they don’t do it for the money, applause, attention or praise. 

When asked why she does it, Joan replies, “I just love the game!”

National Volunteer Week is the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers.

From May 20–26, 2019, thousands of events will be held across the country to say thank you to the 6 million Australians who volunteer their time. 

For more information about National Volunteer Week, email Volunteering Australia

Queensland Rugby League will highlight some of the great contributions of volunteers from across the state - keep an eye on QRL.com.au for more stories.