PCYC Cowra is under new management and it’s a former face that Cowra is familiar with.
Stewart Mead is the new Club Manager for Cowra PCYC, taking over from Shane Budge.
Mr Mead grew up in Cowra, coming to the town when he was in first grade before leaving at the age of 18 to attend university.
Mr Mead said he fondly remembered playing squash in Cowra and playing basketball at the PCYC Binni Creek Road facility and wanted to get the club more active.
“I have seen the Cowra PCYC when it’s been busy and I’m looking to get that happening again,” he said.
“I started playing indoor cricket at the health centre and then organised my own team with Marc McLeish.
“I ended up becoming an indoor cricket referee with Barry Brown and so I got a reference from Barry saying that I had that stamp of approval that I had been able to do something and be confident about it.”
Mr Mead said he hopes to increase the amount of volunteers within the club in different capacities.
“So with our volunteer program we are looking at having something similar, so that people at school are able to get an experience of different careers and occupations... and be involved.
“Especially the at risk kids who don’t necessarily get a positive endorsement, to verify the different skills they have.
“I know Cowra can turn out, but I do know sports seem to have a season of three or four years of popularity and then they drop away and we are looking at boosting our sports, particularly by getting volunteers from the schools.
“In the Cowra community there is a higher than state average level of unemployment and that is probably accentuated in the younger age groups as well.
“So it’s great for people at school, if they want to volunteer and learn some skills and start establishing a track record,” he said.
Mr Mead said his work as a charted accountant had set him up well for the work he would be doing at the PCYC.
“We lived in Sydney for 15 to 20 years and recently started a mumma/baby fitness business with my wife Sarah.”
“It’s called Pram Power, we made it easy for mums to get moving after having a baby and a lot of the tools and techniques and practices involved in that are very useful to this job.
“With our business we’d use the PCYC in Redfern as a wet weather facility and we only lived 500 metres or so from it so by virtue of location we got involved.
“I volunteered at the Redfern PCYC for two or three years, I helped with the referb of that club and helped develop some programs to grow the facility,” he said.
Mr Mead that volunteer work at Redfern had showed him the benefit a PCYC can be to the community.
“Being based in Redfern I’d heard a lot about the work of the tribal warriors boxing program in reducing crime in the Redfern area and improving the relations with police,” he said.
“It has made linking with the Wahlan Warriors even better, because I had that previous exposure I know what benefit it can have, that’s why we are supporting them.
“I’d like to talk to the Neighbourhood Centre about their suspended student program and adding in a physical activity component to the efforts that they do, that’s what we are about, physical activity to reduce crime and promote well being.”
Mr Mead said he was looking forward to implementing a number of new programs including after school education programs, an upgrade to the Binni Creek Road facility and a new boxing network.
“We’d be grateful to anyone to get in touch about volunteering to upgrade the Binni Creek Road facility,” he said.
“We’ll be approaching the services clubs to ask for help, but if there are any individuals who are happy to pick up a paint brush or pull out a plant we’d be grateful.
“We also have our boxing ring back, and we’ve got a lot of interest in the boxing program because of our coach.
“We are going to attend a boxing program workshop at Orange in August so we can broaden the base of coaching knowledge in the town.
“That means we are looking for boxers, we’ll be partnering with Young and Griffith as well for a PCYC Riverina Boxing network, so people from different towns can come together for intensive seasons of sparing with people they don’t normally spar with,” he said.
Mr Mead wished to highlight all the support the club had received from the Cowra Rotary Club.
“We want to recognise the support from Peter Chivers and the Rotary Club it has been instrumental in bringing this club back on its feet,” he said.
“I really want to recognise that because I’ve got a club that I think has a lot of potential but it is only in this position thanks to the work of the people of Rotary and the people who have worked here before.”