Congratulations to Bob Chalmers who will be inducted into this year’s Coles Little Athletics Australia Roll of Excellence in the Volunteers Category.
Bob Chalmers has been an active volunteer in Little Athletics in Western Australia since 1970 through to current day. That is, nearly 50 years of dedication each week during both the summer and winter season with his contribution spanning across the sport through coaching, officiating and team management roles. He is knowledgeable and professional in all that he does. Bob is a true gentleman on and off the athletics arena and is admired by everyone that he has encountered.
Over nearly 50 years, Bob has at one time or another, fulfilled nearly every volunteer role available within the sport. From being involved in a Centre’s formation, to being Centre Chairman through to key officiating roles at State level, to coaching, and to continuing to volunteer his time beyond Little Athletics to National, Oceania region and International events; Bob’s dedication, enthusiasm, professionalism and passion is unrivalled in the sport.
Bob actively coaches and mentors’ young athletes of all ages and has done for nearly 50 years. His softly spoken and gentle approach is one that is full of encouragement. He is able to motivate any young athlete providing them with confidence through his knowledge and his ability to make all athletes feel valued and engaged. Through his skills and approach to coaching, Bob can engage athletes and encourage them to perform to the best of their ability, whilst showing true sportsmanship.
Bob takes the time to really get to know each athlete; their strengths and weaknesses, and through this relationship, builds and develops a unique bond with each athlete. This bond, advice and friendship, is one that has resonated with athletes for many years to come, leaving positive lasting impressions. Bob has since gone on to coach the children, and even grandchildren of his original athletes!
The number of Centre and State events that Bob has contributed to through his service to Little Athletics WA, Rockingham Little Athletics Centre and the Bungaree Little Athletics Club, is too lengthy to document. For 50 years he has coached countless numbers of little athletes at club level, centre level, State Development Squads, and various State Teams including ALAC, and the WA International Team.
Bob specialises in coaching high jump however his knowledge of athletics events overall, ensures he is multi-talented and a valued member of any team.
Bob has been a keen official throughout his involvement in Little Athletics. He has undertaken nearly every role from his involvement at Club, Centre and State level. His time and contribution to the conduct of events is highly commendable, but more remarkable is his ability to encourage and educate others.
Bob is the ultimate professional. He knows the rules and enforces them, but he also takes the conscious approach to not over-officiate or be overbearing. He uses his charm, charisma and demeanour to also ensure he provides positive learning experiences to others. This experience may be for the young athlete who is a little confused after being fouled, through to the timid parents on the sidelines who don’t have the confidence to assist as a general volunteer, or as an official. Bob creates a positive learning environment, he educates, and importantly, he actively encourages and assists.
Bob loves to watch the achievement of the athletes and will quietly applaud the young athlete talent in WA. He will officiate many of the athletes as they compete and transition from Little Athletics to the Athletics Australia events. WA athletes all know who Bob is; not necessarily by name but will definitely know him as a result of his regular presence and friendly nature. When young athletes travel interstate, or internationally, Bob will always go out of his way to share an extra smile and friendly gesture with a WA athlete, either whilst on site or between events. It is his way to let young, unexperienced athletes see a friendly face they are familiar with, which will ultimately allow them to relax a little. It is a small gesture, but one that is often remembered. It stands as a reminder that even at higher level competition, the athlete should be able to fully enjoy the experience!
Bob’s value and contribution to officiating extends well beyond his ability to officiate. He also leaves a legacy where he has introduced many others to the sport of athletics and to officiating different events as a direct result of his ability to engage and educate in a positive environment.
On several occasions Bob has also undertaken the role of State Team Manager for the U12 ALAC team and for the WA International Competition against Singapore and Malaysia.
In the team photo below, where Bob was the Team Manager in 1991 for the U12 State Team travelling to Canberra, another LAA Roll of Excellence inductee, Simon Black, was a competing member.
Awarded during the year 2000, as Sydney hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Medal was awarded by the Australian Governor General and recognised those whose efforts have made Australia a nation of sporting excellence.
The program recognises Western Australian volunteers who have provided 25 years or more years of continuous voluntary service to one organisation. Bob has coached and mentored generations of athletes, having completed the 25 years almost twice over!
Just some of the very many messages of congratulations on social media:
“Congratulations to one of the best men I know. Bob has coached my kids and now theirs. Was also around in my day. He is just the kindest, patient human I know. Couldn’t go to a better recipient.”
“Congratulations Bob well deserved. I remember you from my days with Bungaree LAC in the 80s. You were a great coach and still going now.”
“Congratulations Bob you gave me so much, above and beyond a normal coach
and I’ll be forever grateful. So well deserving of the recognition.”
“Mr Chalmers was my Athletics Coach over 35 years ago. So good to see him still going strong. Big Congrats!!!”
From the current Chairman of Rockingham Little Athletics: “Bob you helped me achieve my dreams in Athletics as a child, and now as an adult you have helped my son and are always there when I need advice as a coach and all things to do with athletics.” Lea Cramer.
Bob Chalmers receiving his Volunteer Service Award from Hon Mick Murray MLA, WA Minister for Seniors and Ageing; Volunteering; Sport and Recreation
“Little Athletics has been a large part of my life, mainly due to my four son’s involvement, also after they finished, I found that many kids and parents wanted me to keep going. I now coach kids whose parents, and in some cases grandparents, I have coached. I have over the years made many friends of all ages both in WA and interstate. I am still involved in Little Athletics and hope to be for many years to come. I thoroughly enjoy the friendship and atmosphere at all levels of competition, and I like to think that being involved keeps me fit and active.”
“Firstly, I need to say that it would be close to impossible to find any volunteer in WA or indeed Australia who has put as much time and effort into Little Athletics as Bob Chalmers. Bob is a mainstay of Little Athletics in WA, having been involved for 49 ½ years, and is very well known and very respected. Throughout the time I have known Bob Chalmers, I have seen him guide, teach, coach, mentor and befriend generations of families. Bob is devoted to Little Athletics and this is evident just by listening to him speak about the sport.
I myself am one of the many Bob has helped in Little Athletics and my story is one of the hundreds, if not thousands. As a youngster I was taught by Bob how to do the many events in Little Athletics. Bob took me under his wing as a coach and had the patience with me and guided me until I finally achieved my goals, which included representing Australia. If I was upset at any time about my performance, I would always get a reminder from Bob about why I joined athletics in the first place, for fun! As an adult, Bob mentors me as an official and coach and now he gives advice to my son!
In Rockingham Bob Chalmers is Little Athletics, he is the reason kids join and the reason they stay and make lifelong memories.”
Bob’s love of coaching extends well beyond his commitment to Little Athletics. He is employed part time through schools to provide coaching education and training to students. His coaching sessions are in the lead up to various school carnivals, where he prepares athletes to achieve the best results. Bob is a popular coach who is always asked back to coach again in following years.
The 2019 Roll Of Excellence will be held at Aloft Perth on 19th October 2019.
|Pre Dinner Drinks||6:30pm – 7:00pm (Aloft Perth)|
|Dinner and Awards||7:00pm – 11:00pm (Aloft Perth)|
|Location||The Springs, 27 Rowe Ave, Rivervale WA 6103|
|Host||Melinda Gainsford Taylor|
|Dress Code||Lounge Suit|