NSW Touch Association Welcomes Three New Life Members
At the 2022/23 Annual General Meeting held today, the members of the Association bestowed the
ultimate honour of life membership to three outstanding volunteers in our sport.
Over the years, Chris Dolahenty, Erene Devall, and Les Bouveng have made immense contributions
to the sport of touch. Their dedication and commitment to various roles within the sport, whether as
players, referees, coaches, or administrators, have undoubtedly left a lasting impact on the
community. Seeing their efforts recognised with the honour of Life membership at the Annual
General Meeting is heartening. Their passion and hard work have elevated the sport and inspired
others within the community.
Congratulations to Chris, Erene, and Les on this well-deserved recognition, and thank you for your
invaluable contributions to the sport of touch.
Chris Dolahenty has been and remains a long-serving member of the NSWTA. He started in the late
1980s as a player and then transitioned into refereeing. Chris was a long-serving member of the
Touch community of Wagga Wagga, and his involvement within that community led him to become
President of that Association. Chris progressed through the Referee ranks to become a member of
the NSWTA Referees Panel for some 27 years and is still active, the TFA Referees Coaching Panel and
the Federation of International Touch Referees Coaching Panel. He remains active in all of these
He was also a member of the NSWTA Board for 13 years, just finishing his tenure, where he served
as an independent director, vice president, and country representative. Chris is one of the most
respected referee coaches across the state, country and internationally. He has dedicated much of
his life to the sport and the development of referees and referee coaches.
Erene Devall has been a long-serving member of the NSWTA for over 30 years. At the 2022 Blues
Awards, she received a Distinguished Long Service Award for 25 years of service. Erene was a very
experienced referee before being graded as a Level 4 Referee in 1991, State Graded Referee number
156. She consequently went on to achieve her Level 5 & 6 badges. Once she retired from refereeing,
she was invited onto the NSWTA Referees Panel—a position she has held these last 30 years. She
was the only female referee coach on the Referee Panel for many years in a male-dominated
environment. She holds the Referee Coach the Coach portfolio and is a member of the Female
Leadership group. She also worked tirelessly in the Suns Region, with the Referee of the Year trophy
named after her.
There would not be many members who don’t know of or have heard the name Les Bouveng. He has
been a player, a coach, a manager, and a Regional Director spanning 30 years in the game. Les
started as a player at Bosco/Engadine Touch in 1993. He was the coach, manager and assistant
coach for the State Cup and Sydney Championships teams. In 1997/1998, he moved to Taren Point
Touch and coached teams at the Vawdon and State Cup again.
However, it was in administration that Les made his mark. He commenced as a committee member
at Taren Point for many years. He then moved to the Sydney Rebels, and many would know he has
been the backbone of the region for over 25 years—many of those roles he took on himself due to a
lack of volunteers. Les had served as Regional Director and tour leader and built the Regions from
being in the red when he first started to put the now Southern Rebels in a comfortable and stable
financial position. Les has had many achievements over this time. He received a NSWTA
Distinguished Long Service Award in 2020, a NSWTA Blues Award in 2007, a Sports NSW
Distinguished Long Service Award in 2021 and was Nominated four times for the Rod Wise Medal.
To Chris, Erene and Les, our sport has enjoyed your services for many years. On behalf of the
members, the Board, the staff and the game of touch itself- thank you and congratulations on the