Canterbury District Soccer Football Association’s long serving Football Operations Manager Trent Thomas is embarking on a unique experience as he lines up as the only community football administrator appointed for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The 45-year-old will take his place as a leading umpire in the sport of Baseball at the XXXII Olympic Games commencing on the 23rd of July and concluding on the 8th of August.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing baseball’s return to the Olympic arena.
“I’ve spent much of my life involved in sport, be it a player, team official, volunteer or official as well as in a professional capacity as a sports administrator so this is a huge honour.
“Having been around past Olympic Games in an administrative capacity, to be going away as an on-field participant is certainly a great joy.”
Bound for the busy Japanese capital for two weeks and departing on the 25th of July from our Australian shores, Thomas has been umpiring in the sport of Baseball since 1992 and is chomping at the seams in relishing this distinctive Olympic Games experience.
“I have been umpiring since mid-1992, I started in the NSW State League in the summer competition in 93’/94’ and then went on to commence my journey in the Australian Baseball League in 96’/97′ before officiating in my first international in 1999.
“I really cannot wait to experience the competition – the aura of this event being at the Olympic Games is something extraordinary.
“It’s baseball’s return since 2008 and with baseball being a major sport in Japan, it will be a significant experience.
“Normally, it would have been good to experience the wider community in Tokyo and its surrounds during the Games, but I will make the most of whatever the COVID protocols permit us to experience this opportunity.”
Having just taken his second COVID vaccine, Thomas is raring to go.
Asked how he balances both his baseball and football operation duties, Thomas stated to Football NSW it was down to having a great support base from both codes in ensuring he was on top of both gigs.
“I’ve been fortunate to have encouraging and supportive employers throughout my professional work life which has helped. For the most part it hasn’t been an issue.
“Baseball’s main season is in the Spring/Summer months, with Football being Autumn/Winter. In some ways the two have complemented each other in bringing ideas and education from one into the other.”
On the football side, Thomas has been working at the CDSFA since October 2005 and has seen the game change and develop for the better.
2021 in particular has been a solid year for the Association as Thomas and co continue to play their roles in driving up the numbers for the sport.
“The CDSFA is moving along very well.
“There are always challenges in community football, namely around growth in the sport and misbehavior on the field.
“Over my time here, it’s been very evident the number of volunteers willing to involve themselves in the running of community sport is declining.
“The CDSFA is continually looking at ways to lessen any burden placed on the volunteer base because the sport is continuing to grow putting more pressure on those who are electing to put in the time and effort to keep community football moving along.”