Paul Anderson Shield
The Paul Anderson Shield is an award formed in honour of former VFL Boundary umpire and VFUA Member Paul Anderson, who tragically passed in 2001 after a brave battle with cancer. The shield is awarded to the squad who wins the annual ‘Mini-Olympics’ which is held during the pre-season. Each year the VFUA, together with its members raise money on the night of the Mini-Olympics competition which goes to our charitable partner – The Victorian Cancer Council.
To make any donations to the Victorian Cancer Council or to view their website please click on the below link:
About the Mini-Olympics
The Mini-Olympics which is held February, generally after the pre season time trials and is a night where umpires can have a break from the tough training sessions and have a laugh on the track. All umpiring diciplines are in attendance for the evening which umpires are nominated by their track representative to verse each other in several events which are listed below:
- 4x200m Relay
- Hacky Sack
- Goal Kicking
- Bouncing Competition
- Boundary Throw In Competition
- Soccer Matches
All teams participate in these events and the best scoring team wins the Paul Anderson Memorial Shield. The night is completed by the Anderson Family awarding the shield to to winning squad, which then the VFUA supply a BBQ dinner for all. A list of past winners are listed here:
Paul Anderson 1973-2001
Paul Anderson’s strength and determination meant he faced life’s hurdles with tremendous courage.
His first major setback was in 1987 when the young sportsman was involved in a serious car accident that left him in a coma for a week. At the time, doctors called his survival a miracle, saying only his physical fitness and mental strength pulled him through. He showed the same courage and determination when diagnosed with cancer, leaving no stone unturned in his quest to conquer the disease. A great believer in natural therapies, he even travelled to Mexico for advanced natural therapy with the support of family and friends.
Born in Essendon to Ray and Denise Anderson he was a competitive sportsman from the beginning. His twin sister, Sally, remembered having to carry his bag to school as Paul picked up stones to practice his bowling or lined up power poles to kick his football through. Even in primary school, Paul would aim to win whenever he went out to play. In Grade 6, the talented runner won a bronze medal in the state primary school cross-country.
While he was at first reluctant to join Little Athletics, he became hooked after visiting the Royal Ascot Club at Essendon. Even after his accident, Paul was back competing quickly and went on to take part in both amateur and professional events, including the Stawell Gift. He was nominated by his Little Athletics club for the Sir Thomas Lipton Award that recognises great courage and achievement against all odds.
On the same day he was presented with the award, Paul came third in an under-15 1500m event, his first individual state medal.
A keen footballer, Paul played for Ascot Vale Football Club before moving to the Maribyrnong Park Football Club. Though he attended Niddrie Technical School, he swore it was a waste of time because he was going to play football for Essendon. Football was his great love and he had all the statistics, dates and figures at his fingertips.
After a short stint umpiring at the Essendon District Football League in 1994, Paul was invited to try out with the VFL. With a sound running ability, he was successful and joined the VFL development squad. Unfortunately, he fell ill with chronic fatigue syndrome early in his first season with the league. He saw the disease as a challenge and endured it with the strength of a marathon runner. Despite constant bouts of exhaustion, he continued to umpire for six years,taking the field for more than 115 games, including 41 senior VFL matches and six AFL reserve games.
He was extremely proud to be chosen as a boundary umpire for the 1997 VFL Reserves Grand Final at Port Melbourne.
Paul’s love of sport and desire to keep fit spilled into his career. When he left school he began a plumbing apprenticeship but gave it up to do a fitness instruction course with Vic Fit. Having been a member of the Ascot Vale Swimming Club, Paul took on the role of lifeguard at various public swimming pools and later did a massage course that led to him setting up his own rooms. He also began a course at the Melbourne College of Natural Medicine.
Paul is survived by Ray, Denise and Sally.