Tony Anderson regularly goes beyond the call of duty in his role at Nelson College. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Good sorts in sports: College’s everyman pitches in everywhere


Over the next few months, sports reporter Jonty Dine is be putting the spotlight on our off-field superstars. These people work tirelessly to make sport in our region happen – without trophies or medals to recognise their efforts.

Whether it is fixing sports gear, mentoring athletes, or driving a van full of students to a game, there is no job at Nelson College Tony Anderson won’t put his hand up for.

Tony has played almost every sport imaginable and is all too happy to pass on his knowledge to young athletes.

The sports fanatic has competed in athletics, rugby, basketball, golf, tennis, squash, volleyball, softball, cricket and has been weight training since he was a teenager.

He says he tries to encourage students to try as many sports as they can.

“There is such a variety of activities you can participate in, give it a go, don’t be afraid to fail, if it’s not your sport try something else. There is a sport for everyone, whether you’re tall or short, fast or slow.”

Tony worked as a postie for 25 years before redundancy led him to his former college.

He initially picked up work at the college as a basketball coach before being asked to manage the weight room and supervise at Barnicoat boarding house.

From there, he began to volunteer his services for everything from fixing broken cupboards to retrieving rugby balls so a student could practice goal kicking.

“This is my old school, I had good memories and I am in a position to give time back so I do. If someone needs a hand to do something, I am always keen to serve.”

Affectionately referred to by students as ‘TA,’ Tony says there are always jobs needing to be done.

“My wife would say I spend a lot more time at the school than I get monetary reward for but that’s not why I do it.”

However, Tony doesn’t just talk the talk with the students – whether that means joining in on a cross-country run or a weight room session.

“I’m not going to dictate what to do, I’m willing to have a crack at it myself.”

Nelson College sports director Peter Grigg says Tony not only volunteers for everything he can but will always follow through.

“If he says he’ll do it you know it will be done and done properly, he’s very reliable and puts his hand up for everything, boys love him, he’s just a great bugger.”

Tony says Nelson College has been very good to him which is why he doesn’t mind enduring long road trips across the country.

“If there are no volunteers to transport boys to events, then they won’t get to go to those events.”

If you would like to nominate a ‘good sport in sport’, email [email protected]