'The man' – for all reasons
STEVE Parle is one of the most recognised names in Central Queensland rugby league and little wonder as he has recently added to his growing list of life memberships that of Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League.
The thing about Parle is he has earned every one of these honours due to his dedication to sport.
Not bad for a man who arrived in Central Queensland, from Victoria, with a passion for AFL.
"I played a lot as a kid," he said.
But three weeks after his arrival in Rockhampton, Parle was converted to league and named at fullback for his team.
He said the thinking behind him playing fullback was due to his Australian Rules Football background.
"The trouble is nobody had taught me how to defend," he said.
Nevertheless, he did get that part of his game right and made a name for himself as a player, earning representative honours for both Rockhampton and Central Queensland, but as a second-rower.
These days Parle is recognised and respected for his coaching ability but there is far more he does behind the scenes for rugby league.
Parle said coaching began for him in 1974 when he took on the role at St Anthony's school on Lakes Creek Road. He has been coaching since.
By 1983, Parle had also moved into the administration of the sport, becoming president of the Rockhampton schoolboys' rugby league, a position he still holds some 29 years later.
His administrative skills were recognised and Parle also landed the president's position with Queensland Secondary Schools Rugby League (QSSRL), again he still holds the position and has been honoured with a life membership.
Parle said his long-running role at QSSRL involves a number of areas of responsibility.
"We look after rugby league in 12 education regions," he said.
The board also has involvements with the state's secondary school representative teams, selecting coaches, trainers, managers and selectors to ensure Queensland has the best representation for national events.
"There is a high number of these kids who go on to play NRL and for Australia," he said.
In 1994, as QSSRL president, he became a delegate to the Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League and recently was made a life member for 18 years service.
"It's an accolade I didn't expect," he said.
His commitment to his sport certainly impressed fellow administrators on the ASSRL when Rockhampton hosted the 2005 15-year-old championships.
Not only did Parle conduct the official functions as Queensland president at that event, but he was also on hand to perform tasks behind the scenes to make the championships run smoothly.
"When I finish teaching, it (ASSRL membership) will be one of my highlights," he said.
Needless to say Parle is also a life member of his beloved Brothers Rugby League Club and also of Queensland School Sport.
This weekend, Parle will be back at Browne Park where he has a section of grandstand named in his honour.
He will be in charge of the young Capras team for the match against Townsville.