Our Game: Women’s stories shaping sport - Dossie Parnell

By Tyler Maher

McPherson Media Group has partnered with Valley Sport to bring you Our Game: Women's Stories Shaping Sport highlighting the brilliant and often under-appreciated, contributions females of the region make to their sporting clubs and organisations, on and off the field.

Each week a different district female athlete, leader or champion will be highlighted — so make sure you contact MMG or Valley Sport to nominate those around you to be profiled in the series.

This week, Katamatite's Dossie Parnell is featured.

The heart and soul of any club is its volunteers.

Without those willing to put in the hard yards behind the scenes, action on the field or court would simply be a pipe dream.

National Volunteer Week presents the perfect opportunity to recognise and celebrate those who spend so much time and energy to keep clubs running across the country.

At Katamatite, there is one particular volunteer who often stands out among the rest.

If you can name a role Dossie Parnell has not filled at Katamatite football or cricket club, it is likely it does not exist.

Parnell has been involved in sport at Katamatite Recreation Reserve for more than 30 years — receiving life membership from the football-netball and cricket organisations — and completing duties around the clubs that include running the canteen, cleaning the rooms, scoring, cooking Thursday night dinners, being team manager, washing jumpers, joining the committee, being president of the catering committee, filling the role of secretary and treasurer and even jumping on board the facility's committee of management in recent years.

While it seems like a long list, it is certainly not exhaustive — showcasing how involved Parnell has been in the smooth functioning of the Tigers across the decades.

“I never played sport while growing up as we always had to work on a family farm, girls are so lucky now with opportunity available to them as I would have love to have played cricket and footy,” Parnell said.

“I encouraged my children to play sport and I supported them by volunteering at the clubs.”

Being a volunteer for Parnell was about helping her town as well as her children.

“Without clubs with in your town, your town doesn’t exist,” she said.

“Knowing that you have helped your club and helped keep it viable for its users and the local town community (is a great feeling).

“Like on a Thursday night, teas aren’t just for the clubs, players, and patrons — the community members are involved as well at Katamatite.

“I have (also) made some wonderful friendships out of volunteering.”

Her town showed its appreciation for Parnell in 2018 when she was named Katamatite Citizen of the Year at the Moria Shire Australia Day awards ceremony, with Katamatite CFA membership and meals on wheels involvement also among Parnell's contributions to her community.

Parnell has also taken up Parkrun at Cobram — not only participating, but, of course, putting her hand up to marshall for others as well.

She is looking forward to getting back out there and notching up many more of the 5 km circuits after passing 50 Parkruns recently.

“(I'm looking forward to) getting back into a normal routine and getting back to Parkrun on Saturday mornings,” Parnell said.

“At the moment I'm doing the ‘Kiss Goodbye to MS’ 50 km in May, walking up to 6.5 km three to four times a week — so far I have walked 63 km.”

More in the Our Game series


Rylee Alderton

Megan Wood

Amy Marshall