Wood rolls up sleeves and gets stuck in
Mike Wood is an old-school chairman who will replace toilet rolls and collect errant footballs from the trees.
He has been at the helm of Tawa Football Club for 15 years and manages the first team, which his son, Daniel, coaches.
The father-son link is symbolic of a club steeped in community and family ties.
‘‘We do have those family connections,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s something we’re proud of and we’ve worked hard to retain them.
‘‘Of 18 players in the first team squad, all but one are from Tawa. Something like 12 of them have come through Tawa College.’’
At last month’s Tawa Community Civic Awards, Wood won the sport and recreation category for his service to the football club.
He said he gave about 20 hours a week to his chairmanship duties, which involve everything from sorting out gear and writing grant applications to more mundane duties.
‘‘On game day [Saturday], I’ll often go early to the clubrooms at Redwood and make sure the toilets are tidy and there are enough toilet rolls. Someone has to do it and that someone is me.’’
Wood came to New Zealand from Britain as a 12-year-old.
‘‘I remember arriving on the boat and as we came into the harbour it was just getting light. I saw all the hills and thought, ‘ There’s no room for [ football] grounds here’. I still think that today considering how much mud and rain we have.’’
Stop Out and Seatoun were early clubs for him before a move to Tawa 30 years ago began his relationship with the local club.
He blamed his wife for the hours he has put in, saying it was she who volunteered him many moons ago.
Wood said the commitment wouldn’t wane any time soon and that he enjoyed being a hands-on chairman.
He is especially excited about the burgeoning youth numbers at the club – largely through efforts with local schools and by the junior committee – and that Redwood Park will be re-laid in August after years of drainage problems.
‘‘We’ve never been wealthy, but it’s a club that has heart. My job in future might be to get a few other people doing things, but right now I’m really enjoying it.’’
Dedicated: Tawa Football Club chairman Mike Wood, who has been in the role for 15 years.