Life Member Inductee – Neil Bowman18th March, 2021
At Tuesday night’s 2021 Season Launch, the YJFL inducted two new members to Life Members status.
Congratulations to new Life Member, Neil Bowman.
Below is the speech read by YJFL President Jeff Hooper, who inducted Neil.
Neil Bowman is nominated for Life Membership of the Yarra Junior Football League following 20 years of voluntary service and commitment to the YJFL community at club level.
Neil’s involvement with the YJFL began in 2000 when the eldest of his three boys began playing at Canterbury JFC.
In 2003 Neil was elected as President of Canterbury JFC a role he held until 2007. During his time as President, Neil identified an issue with players in the U15+ age group leaving football. Boys from local high schools, particularly Camberwell High, Balwyn High and Kew High were leaving the football system and private schools were only catering for Elite players.
Following much thought and discussions with Hawthorn Citizen JFC, Balwyn JFC and Canterbury JFC, in 2008 Neil successfully established the Boroondara Hawks JFC as a club for boys in the U15 and Colts age groups who wished to continue to play club football. In his spare time Neil was also on the Board of the (AFL) Hawthorn FC social club. This link saw HFC sponsorship of the newly formed Boroondara Hawks providing the jumpers players were to wear in their 1st season. Neil was the President of Boroondara Hawks from 2008- 2018. He was ahead of his time with his foresight and leadership in growing participation for our older boys. The Boroondara Hawks model may well be used in the future in other locations by the YJFL.
In 2019 after stepping away from Junior Football, Neil was elected as President of Old Trinity Football Club thus, continuing his strong volunteer community football involvement.
In recognition of his outstanding service to the YJFL, Neil Bowman is awarded Life Membership of the League.