Margaret Radford

Smithton resident Margaret Radford has readily involved herself in basketball and netball since moving to the town in 1988, pictured above with her dog Luna at home. Picture: Bodey Dittloff.

Local legend. “My motto is: if you want something done, always ask a busy person.”

‘Marg’ Radford has been a busy member of the Circular Head community for 26 years – long enough to “just scrape in” as a local in her words.

Growing up in Swansea on the east coast, Marg made the move to Smithton with husband Bill and daughters Bianca and Abbie in 1988, quickly becoming involved in local basketball and netball rosters as a committee member and player.

While netball has always been her passion, the 54-year-old admits basketball was a relatively foreign concept, putting her hand up for the junior committee with Bianca playing juniors at the time.

“I knew almost nothing; I didn’t even know what inter-town was,” she said.

“When you’ve got a child involved, you become involved – you do anything you can to help.”

Over the years that followed, her role would change various times within the Smithton Saints basketball club, but her commitment and work ethic was a feature that did not change – a value noted by current secretary Raylene Hardy.

“She does a lot of behind the scenes work that people don’t really see,” Mrs Hardy said.

“She’s somebody who has been a stable part of the club. You just need those sorts of people – she’s the backbone.”

When it came to netball, many locals playing in Circular Head over the past two decades could credit Marg as their dedicated coach, as she described the days of starting early on a Saturday morning and “going all day”.

“Netball was my sport, it was very strong back then,” she said.

“I liked coaching the kids teams, they’re little sponges. They try really hard and they want to learn.”

Continuing her involvement in both sports to this day, Marg’s volunteer work was highlighted when she was named as a life member first by the Circular Head Netball Association in 2005, followed by the Smithton Saints basketball club in 2008.

“It was a huge surprise. It’s a real honour to be given life membership,” she said.
“You don’t like to look for recognition, but it is nice to know people recognise the time you’ve given. It’s nice to think you’re appreciated.”

A full-time manager at the Smithton IGA for the past six years, Marg currently lives behind daughter Abbie while also taking in Smithton Saints player Rhonda Price over the basketball season: “To me, she’s family.”

Marg added the genuine selflessness of the local community was reflected after the passing of her daughter Bianca in a car accident in 2006, followed by the death of her husband Bill from cancer in 2009.

“Circular Head is an amazing community,” she said. “If anything needs to be done, they pull together and get it done.

“I honestly don’t believe we would have survived without the people of Circular Head. They give that extra [effort] all the time.”

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