Rachael Oberleuter, from Sawtell FC in North Coast Football (NCF), has been announced as the Community Female Coach of the Year in Northern NSW Football as part of the rebel Female Football Week.
Despite only starting football when she was 17, Rachael has rapidly risen through the ranks as a player, but she’s particularly excelled as a coach where she’s been outstandingly influential and significant in developing and inspiring young female footballers to achieve their best.
Having coached at representative levels, in NCF’s Women’s Premier League and Men’s Premier League competitions, she is now the Sawtell Coaching Coordinator and an avid contributor to women’s football in the community who loves empowering young girls.
“I get asked a lot why I have been doing this for so long and the bottom line is, I love it,” Rachel said.
“I enjoy being involved and using my knowledge and experience to inspire players to not just try football for a season but to play football for life.
“With the continued growth of female participation within Northern NSW, it’s vital to have more females involved in all aspects of the game, playing, coaching, administrators and volunteers, to help this trend continue.”
Rachael’s efforts have not only been noticed, appreciated and treasured by her club, but also her broader community as NCF’s President, Wendy Schafer, highlighted.
“Having Rachael awarded the 2019 rebel Female Football Week Community Female Coach of the Year is fantastic, not only for the North Coast Football Zone but for all the girls and women that Rachael has supported and coached, past and present,” Schafer said.
“North Coast Football would like to congratulate Rachael on her award and thank her for all her dedication and time that she puts into Female Football at a Community level.”
Almost thirty years on since her involvement in football, Rachael has accomplished and experienced so much, and she says she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“There have been so many great coaching moments, it’s very hard to choose just one.
“As a coach, I have won many Grand Finals, the Kanga Cup three times, the NNSWF State Championships and the Oceania cup twice.
“My sons U16 club team, unfortunately, has not been very successful team compared to other clubs, but every year they keep coming back to play and do their best so to me they are winners and after ten years I’m very honoured that every year they continue to play.
“Football has become a huge part of my life – it has really been a career in a way. It’s what I do full time now helping in all areas within my club five days a week – my daughter once told me to get a real job – but I love what I do.”
As is her nature to encourage and include all kinds of people in the game of football, Rachael says those interested in coaching in particular, should take the enjoyable leap.
“I would absolutely encourage anyone thinking of coaching to get involved.
“I have so many happy memories of coaching and friendships that I have made over the years, and so much joy and satisfaction from being involved in football.”
rebel Female Football Week runs until June 30 and contains various exciting events right across the region. To see the calendar of events, see here.