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    Peter Ballagh.

Peter Ballagh elected Wimmera Football Netball League chair

By Abby Walter

There’s a changing of the guard at the top of the Wimmera league board as Peter Ballagh becomes chairperson for the 2024 season.

He takes the reins from Pauline Butler who served as chairperson from season   2021 to the end of 2023.

Mr Ballagh has been on the board for two years, as football director and then secretary.

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“When Pauline decided to step down, I had board members approach me about the role and I thought I would have a go,” he said.

“I am looking forward to continuing to strengthen the competition.

“I think we have done a good job with the fixture and catered to all the club’s requests to fit in with their programs, which was positive.”

Mr Ballagh said a focus for 2024 was continuing to attract young people to play junior netball and football.

“We want to build junior numbers in our clubs and are looking at ideas we can implement at the start of the year to attract those players,” he said.

The 2024 season will also mark the first time the newly amalgamated Southern Mallee Giants and Jeparit-Rainbow will play as Southern Mallee Thunder.

Mr Ballagh said it was positive to see the clubs come together and be part of the Wimmera league.

“I am looking forward to seeing how it unfolds throughout the season,” he said.

Mr Ballagh said Ms Butler had done a fantastic job in her role with the league across three years.

“Pauline oversaw the first years of the netball and football leagues coming together as one entity,” he said.

“She was also heavily involved in the forming of the Wimmera and District Football Netball Association, which employs staff at headquarters.

“I will be working to continue her good work as I take on the role.”

Mr Ballagh is no stranger to volunteering his time and took the step onto the Wimmera league board after many roles with Minyip-Murtoa.

He said his sons played for the Burras and he was Auskick co-ordinator through to team manager and many roles in between.

“Clubs and the league are always looking for people to volunteer,” he said.

“There is one vacancy on the league board, but apart from Pauline stepping down, every other member renominated for next season.

“We’re looking forward to working with clubs to strengthen the competition and it’s going to be a strong, exciting season.”

The entire December 6, 2023 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!