Were you surprised to win the Young Club Manager of the Year award?
Yes, I was.
I was a bit disappointed not to have the opportunity to celebrate with everyone in Brisbane, but the team and I watched the Facebook live announcements and celebrated the best we could. Having completed a degree in Sports Science and with only limited hospitality experience (bar manager for two years), I did not think I had a chance. The role as General Manager at 21 is unusual; to be nominated and win the Young Club Manager award is even more unusual and certainly a life highlight.
How is the Rocky Sports Club going?
The Club has grown its membership to 22,000 over the last two years and reflects our community focus, with 76 affiliated clubs. The club affiliation focus has allowed us to support the broader local community, providing our venue as a hub for support, fundraising, entertainment, and sport.
How would someone describe you?
I think some would say I am energetic and a go-getter. I like to think anything is possible and I like to push the limits.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
My age would be first thing. I love touch football, and captained Australia in the 2017 Trans-Tasman under 20’s touch football series in New Zealand, where we won the series 3- nil. I was selected to carry the Queen’s Baton for the Commonwealth Games.
What do you think will change in the hospitality industry in the next 5 years?
The recent changes to our business, due to the impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown, could well become our norm. Although we have seen a nice spike across all areas of our business since re opening, it appears people have assimilated to the idea of entertaining and cooking at home. Clubs will need to capitalise on social inclusivity as a point of difference and encourage people to venture out and dine in our restaurants and bistros again.
The surge of online gaming over the lockdown period is very telling about the impact it may have on land-based gaming. The future for local gaming may take another hit if, and when we see legalised online gaming in Australia.
Nothing new here, but perhaps the introduction of skill-based gaming will evolve. I also think that more community clubs will take up and host e-Sports events. Locally, Rocky will see the establishment of a new football and entertainment stadium which will hopefully assist us (Rocky Sports Club) cement the Club as a go to venue for entertainment and community spirit.