Mike Cashman is well renowned in the country town of Tamworth.
Recently announced as Tamworth’s ‘Citizen of the Year’ at a special ceremony on Australia Day, the Men of League Foundation member was selected for his outstanding contributions and support to the local sporting community.
Mike was born and bred in Newcastle and first connected with the game of rugby league in high school where he represented Newcastle Boys High School in the University Shield. However, it wouldn’t be another few years until Mike took up rugby league again, as the rugby union community in the Hawkesbury region – where he was first posted as a teacher – was exceptionally prominent.
Following a transfer to a school in Tamworth, Mike decided to jump back into rugby league and played ten seasons with Tamworth City.
“I had friends playing at the club and enjoyed many good years at the club, who are now merged with West Tamworth,” Mike said.
In accordance with his teaching, Mike coached multiple junior rugby league sides for the Peel Schools Rugby League Carnival, which was the longest running junior rugby league carnival in Australia until it’s collapse last year, as well as managing various representative sides for the North West Public School Teams at state carnivals.
“It was a shame to see the Peel Schools not continue, there have been many great players come out of the competition over the years from towns such as Tamworth, Taree and Maitland.”
A proud Novocastrian, Mike is a member of the Newcastle Knights and attends as many home games as possible per season despite the 280km door to door journey.
“The Wests Tigers have got a deal where they bring one game a season up to Tamworth. Luckily for me, last year’s game was against the Knights. Mitchell Pearce got injured that day but the Knights had a great win I remember!”
Involved with the North West Committee for the last four to five years, Mike’s main reasoning for joining was to give back.
“I wanted to give something back to the game and I wanted to catch up with my old teammates – the Men of League Foundation gave me both that.
“I would encourage anyone who loves rugby league to join them,” Mike concluded.