TOP COACH: These inspiring Gympie men and women are nominated for Gympie's Top Coach. Have your say now in the online poll.
TOP COACH: These inspiring Gympie men and women are nominated for Gympie's Top Coach. Have your say now in the online poll. Contributed

FINALS TIME: Meet Round 5 of Gympie's Top Coach finalists

IN CASE you didn't have reason enough to vote for Gympie's Top Coach, here is why these dedicated Gympie men and women do what they do.

The Gympie Times is on the hunt for Gympie's Top Coach. After an overwhelming response from readers The Gympie Times has narrowed down the finalist list to 40.

To decide Gympie's top coach we need you to vote in the poll by clicking the link below.


But first we want you to meet our finalists below:


TOP COACH ROUND 1: Why I coach: 8 selfless men and women making a difference

TOP COACH ROUND 2: 'Dedication and heart'- Meet 8 of Gympie's Top 40

TOP COACH ROUND 3: Meet Round 3 of Gympie's Top Coach finalists

TOP COACH ROUND 4: Meet Round 4 of Gympie's Top Coach finalists

ROUND 5: Gympie's Top Coach

Adam Cross, football

Adam Cross
Adam Cross Troy Jegers

ADAM Cross is no stranger to the spotlight, but his coaching career is up there with his most rewarding achievement.

The avid athlete who is a top goal-scorer on the Gympie United 1st Division team has been coaching for seven seasons but this year has been the first time he's headed a women's team.

And he's taken the Gympie United 1st Division Ladies Football team all the way to the finals this weekend, after the team finished a thrilling third on the ladder.

Adam's first coaching appointment was temporary, but almost a decade on he is still loving life as a ever-adapting football leader.

"My coaching style is old school but that doesn't suit as much these days so I'm adjusting and learning to adapt with the players I coach to be the best I can be,” Adam said.

"I love being able to pass on knowledge and ideas to other players to assist them become the best they can be. Especially when it comes to the mental side, I feel I have plenty of experience from my own sporting career. As a coach I believe you yourself are continually learning as well as those under you.

"It's not necessarily about coaches being better than each other but the more players can be taught from various coaches the better off they will be in game situations.”

Tam Allcorn-Kipping, aerial acrobatics

Tam Allcorn-Kipping has made it to the shortlist of Gympie's Top Coach.
Tam Allcorn-Kipping has made it to the shortlist of Gympie's Top Coach.

THE challenging sport of aerial acrobatics is something Tam Allcorn-Kipping loves teaching and performing.

She has roughly 150 aerialists, aged 6-years and up, who are under her instruction and while predominantly females, she does have a couple of male students who take part in the physically gruelling sport.

As a coach, she is kicking goals with potentially six of her students through the audition stage (more than any other troupe in the country) of the Australian Circus Festival, which will be held in Brisbane at the end of November.

She said it's a challenge but a big stress reliever for her when she performs, something she has been doing for seven years.

"It's my happy place," she said.

She also really enjoys the mentoring process her role as coach brings and which she has been able to hone over the last three years.

"It's such a difficult sport so it's really rewarding when my students reach each of the little milestones."

She was nominated by Kerri Malouf who said; "Tam is the most patient and encouraging coach and deserves to be recognised."

Libby Manthey, swimming

COACH: Gympie Gold Fins swimming coach Libby Manthey at her learn to swim pool on the Southside.
COACH: Gympie Gold Fins swimming coach Libby Manthey at her learn to swim pool on the Southside. Craig Warhurst

HAVING competed at a national level in swimming, Liz "Libby" Manthey knows first hand what her charges can expect, and what it takes to make a champion.

She has been coaching the Gympie Goldfins swimming team for more than 20 years, but has more than 25 years coaching experience, having also coached swimmers in Central Queensland for three years and in Brisbane for about two.

What she particularly enjoys most is spending time with the children.

"I really enjoy being around the kids. For the kids that are in competition, you get to spend a lot of time with them because they're training three to four hours a day and you're spending every second weekend with them at carnivals and competitions," she said.

"I've been very fortunate, I think generally kids that are involved in sport are good kids and they are such great kids.

"When you've taught them to swim and watch them go all the way - It's been a real pleasure," she said.

She was nominated by Samantha Searle who simply wrote; "Liz Manthey - best swim coach ever."

Matthew Smith, rugby league

Gympie Devils - Matthew Smith halfback and reserves coach
Gympie Devils - Matthew Smith halfback and reserves coach Bec Singh

MATTHEW Smith has helped reinvigorate the team in his first year as a coach.

And it is not only his first year with the Devils Reserves. It is his first year as a coach of anyone.

Getting people back into the game has been one of his great achievements.

He plays, too, and is halfback in the team he coaches.

Colleagues say he is a great contributor to the game and an enthusiastic student of all its roles and skills.

"We needed a coach so he stepped in,” one said.

The team had a battle this year, the Devils' first year with a Reserve team. That meant he had worked to get players back into the game who in some cases hadn't played for quite a while, some not since they were juniors.

The players kept turning up and mates describe it as "a terrific effort for him to be able to put a side together every week”.

A versatile and dedicated club player, he has also backed up and played A-Grade when required, even only minutes after a tough Reserve Grade game.

"He did that three or four times. We'd just say, 'Smithy, we need you.”

"They never won a game, largely because of inexperience or just because they had not played for a while, but they were very competitive for a new team and the improvement has been noticed throughout the competition.”

Glen Gamble

Rugby Union Ladies Coach Glen Gamble Gympie Hammers
Rugby Union Ladies Coach Glen Gamble Gympie Hammers Leeroy Todd

AFTER a lifetime of playing and coaching sport all over Queensland, ex-police officer Glen Gamble says sport has broken down all the barriers he might have encountered all over Queensland.

"I've worked in some very different places, in small communities.

"I worked in Aboriginal communities in Far North Queensland and you can b4reak down a lot of barriers through sport and indigenous communities.

"I've been playing and coaching for 28 years and I love all sport. I'm very keen about training indigenous and female players and I love it when they have that light-bulb moment, that moment when they suddenly realise how their talents fit in with the game and how they can use them."

And, he says, a lot of that skill in making the most of themselves and working in teams quickly pays off in other aspects of life.

"I'm a rugby union tragic, but really I'm a sport tragic - I love all codes and believe it or not, we have found some of the AFL and soccer players can bring real skills to rugby union; they're good at seeing the big picture of the game and where the gaps are."

Gamble coaches the Hammers Senior Women's team and runs other programs to develop young players in school, junior and club competition.

"I'm a part time development officer.

"I love getting kids to play sport. Smiling faces are the big payback for me," he said.

"I started playing rugby league and then a bloke came to town and he organised a bit of a rough rugby game and I loved the camaraderie and spirit.

"I've coached AFL, league and I'm studying sport at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

"You never stop learning and that gives you more and more you can pass on to others.

"I worked with the Queensland Indigenous Women's Team and we got three girls in the national team.

"They went to Perth and one of them hadn't been on a plane before.

"They came back wide eyed with excitement and sport had opened up a new world for them.

"And it's not just in rugby union, We've had girls going to play AFL and rugby league together.

"One is now playing first grade rugby league for Easts in Brisbane. She's a little pocket rocket and she's realised she's small, but she's smarter, fitter and faster than most."

Natalie Upshall

Natalie Upshall, Gympie Special Olympics
Natalie Upshall, Gympie Special Olympics Contributed

NATALIE Upshall has seen her share of Olympians and every day gets the opportunity to train more.

From the past 16 years she has been training athletes with intellectual disabilities, from ages 2 to 50 in gymnastics, soccer and athletics.

"The athletes appreciate what we do," she said.

Having coached for the better part of two decades, has had athletes at four World Games, and has seen many of her charges grow to adulthood and still maintains contact with a lot of them via Facebook.

"One athlete, Molly, I'm coaching her daughter now, made it to the World Games in 2007 and became the World Level 2 Champion. I watched her grow up from a young girl to a young lady," she said.

But her proudest moment came about eight years ago when one of her athletes, who had drifted from sport to sport, was selected for the Queensland gymnastics team for the National Games.

"You couldn't keep her in sport, she kept changing. She struggled but we encouraged her to keep with it. She got a gold medal for the beam," she said.

Max Hall, roller hockey

Max Hall
Max Hall Contributed

A NEW coach on the scene is the coach of the Gympie Thunder Roller Hockey U14 team, Max Hall, who has been coaching only for the past seven months.

After getting the suggestion from one of the senior coaches, Max decided to take a chance and volunteer to coach the roller hockey team, a decision he hasn't regretted.

While his team is relatively new, Max can see the players' potential and believes they'll be a team to watch out for as their skills and talent develop.

One of the things Max likes best about being a coach is seeing his players' excitement as they start a game ready and rearing to do their best.

While admitting he expects the best effort from his players on the rink whether playing a match or training, Max also believes in being more relaxed and forgiving when not playing or training.

Matthew Killian, AFL

Matthew Killian
Matthew Killian Contributed

KEEPING it fun is the object of the game for Matt Killian as he coaches Gympie's Under-8 AFL players.

"The Gympie Cool Cats' is what we call ourselves,” he said.

"I like to make it as energetic and fun as possible.”

And that means doing things differently, to adapt to his young footie proteges.

"They don't just do two drills over and over, they do quite a few different skill things, so they don't get bored,” he said.

"We do at least 10 different skill things every time.

"We've got four girls and four boys and it's all about fun for both.”

He said the sportsmanship shown by the players was their most outstanding quality.

"They have a lot to learn and we don't want them getting bored.

"Probably every one of our players has kicked a goal this season.”

"Just the sportsmanship they show,” he said when asked about the outstanding qualities he sees.

"They struggle with skills at that age, but everyone's happy to support each other.

"They are very good like that.

"I just moved up from Melbourne, where everyone's AFL mad. My son's in the St Kilda team.

"This is my first season of coaching junior football. Back in Melbourne I did coach some senior football teams over four seasons.”

"I've played a lot of football, since I was four or five. You can start a lot younger there.

"I haven't played here yet, but I want to start next season.

"I've just always loved to teach.

"Obviously I wanted my children to play and so I've become involved in coaching.”I ended up being a coach so I could coach them.

"It's hard to get volunteer coaches in a lot of sports.

"We play in mixed teams with local girls and boys and we travel to places like Maroochydore and Pomona.