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Forty years on, Gail still loves her Tigers

No one lives and breathes Southport Rugby League like Gail Manning.

This year, the esteemed club stalwart celebrates her 40th year at the proud Gold Coast club, having served as the club secretary and treasurer over a number of years.

She has been a driving force behind the club’s successful junior programs, selflessly dedicating countless hours to the game she loves.

There is nothing Manning wouldn’t do for her beloved Southport Tigers.

Looking back at her time, Manning said she felt proud to be involved with such a great club for so long.

“It’s very exciting to think that I’ve been there that long and it’s lovely to have people that appreciate you and tell me how grateful they are,” the Southport life member said.

Having been involved with the club for so long, Manning said while it has been a lot of hard work and dedication, she still loves it 40 years later.

“I’m there just about every day really," Manning said.

"I’m there on training nights - which are Tuesday and Thursday - as well as the Friday and Saturday night games.

"It’s a lot but I love being there."

I love the Tigers - Gail Manning

Having played such a key role in the development of the club for so many years, Manning said the most rewarding aspect of her time volunteering was watching the next generation of Tigers come through the ranks.

“I love seeing the little kids run around and it’s great to see some of the older generation who played here as a kids come back with kids of their own,” Manning said.

She also credits the work of her fellow Southport family, including people such as Cheryl Russell, Gloria Etherington and Mick Martin for helping her along the journey.

While Manning still very much loves being involved in the day-to-day running of the club, she hopes to see the next generation of the Southport community take on more responsibility within the club.

“I’m still going to stay around, but I’m just hoping to see some of the younger ones take on those bigger jobs," Manning said.

“I’m still the secretary at the moment, but I’m trying to get someone to take that job off me so I can focus on being that person that does those little jobs around the club again."

Southport president Tim Mahoney had nothing but praise for Manning, crediting her hardworking nature and positive attitude as a major asset for the club.

“Gail is one-of-a-kind," Mahoney said.

"She’s upbeat and enthusiastic around the club and is very passionate about the Southport Tigers.

"I don’t know anyone more club orientated than Gail."

It's these great qualities Mahoney believes has made her such an asset to the club.

“Gail's got a wealth of knowledge across almost the entire scope of the club and she’s been involved in so many capacities, not only as secretary and treasurer but also as the life member of Rugby League Gold Coast” Mahoney said.

“She brings a lot of knowledge and contacts across generations of families.

“She has certainly paved the way for future generations.”

Know an outstanding volunteer who has provided exceptional service at your local club? Nominate them for the 2020 Volunteer of the Year Award today.