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

deserved accolade.

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest