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Renae Scholte the superwoman from Golden Plains SC

SHE is a wife and mum to three kids, she runs her own business, she volunteers for the local branch of the SES, she sits on school committees and she coaches the Golden Plains Soccer Club’s Under 11’s Mini Roos girls team … meet Bannockburn superwoman Renae Scholte!

Renae is a typical every day local unsung hero, juggling family commitments with running a business whilst still finding time to volunteer and give back to her community.

A desire to ensure young girls were given the chance to enjoy soccer and learn the game is the main reason Renae took up coaching.

“Our girls Mini Roos team exploded from 7 players last year to 18 this year and I felt compelled to step in and help out so that every single player got both a chance to play as well as receive the coaching attention they needed”, says Renae.

Research from the Women’s Sports Foundation shows that girls who play sport are more likely to have academic success and less likely to suffer from anxiety disorders.

Renae agrees a sport like soccer can play a crucial role in nurturing young girls and helping them improve their chances of future success and whilst her coaching role at Golden Plains is entirely voluntarily, she feels well compensated.

“Helping young girls to develop their confidence and leadership skills and just seeing them running around having a good time is the most rewarding part of coaching,” she said.

Renae is a beneficiary of the grassroots coaching courses being run by FFV Geelong. There is currently a big push in the Geelong region to get more women involved in coaching and in particular mums. Renae believes simply asking them is the way to go.

“Women love helping and getting involved with their children’s activities. A lot of the time they are not asked so may feel they don’t have anything to contribute. If we ask them and show them they are needed they will come”, insists Renae, who’s two older kids play for Golden Plains in the Mini Roos. Ten year old Adie is running around for the Under 11s and seven year old Dempsie plays for the Under 9s. Her youngest Murphy will be pulling on the boots next year.

Renae’s involvement in coaching is also a way of making up for time lost in the game when she was younger.

“I have never played as it wasn't really an option open to us growing up”, Renae laments, although she confesses to having a go at the indoor game, “I remember having a crack at futsal for a couple of games but it seems I may have been "too rough".

Renae admits, though, she would still love to play in a social environment with other mums in Geelong. Seeing some of the dad’s have their own game at training nights at Bannockburn has motivated her to actively seek out mums that may also want to play. She is eager to make social soccer accessible for these mums.

“Mums will have more fun if they got off the sidelines and have a run and a kick”, she says, then adds, “the best way to encourage them to do this is to create a non-competitive and non-threatening environment. It doesn’t matter which club they are a part of. We can mix the teams up and just play”.

With her positive attitude and “can do” mentality it is likely she will be successful with this ambition.

Apart from her dedication to Golden Plains, Renae is also actively involved in other parts of the Geelong football community. She is a personal assistant to Geelong Regional Football Committee (GRFC) Chairperson Jo Plummer and is also part of the GRFC strategic team.

The latter role involves being an admin liaison between the various pillars of the GRFC.  This involves making sure everyone within GRFC is on the same page and engaging with key stakeholders, like local councils, to try and promote soccer in the region.

Renae sees a great future for the world game in Geelong.

“I love what we are doing in terms of increasing the opportunities to play for anybody who wants to have a go. Soccer has a growing participation rate locally and in fact is the most popular sport in the country. It can only get better”.

Despite the success the game is experiencing, Renae does see the need for further support and investment in the game locally particularly in terms of facilities:

“I would like to see local soccer receive the respect and resources it requires to grow the game to its full potential. The only way to do this is to keep making the right noises and for all the clubs in Geelong to have a united voice. The GRFC strategic team is heavily involved in doing this”.

Renae’s contribution to the community goes well beyond her roles at Golden Plains Soccer Club and the GRFC. She also manages to find time to volunteer in the Bannockburn branch of the State Emergency Services (SES), a role which she loves and something she got involved with simply because she was asked too:

“I was at the local farmer’s market one day and was asked to join. Helping people in their time of need is very important to me so I decided to join. I was the only woman there in the Bannockburn branch for a while but we have a few now which is great”.

If this isn’t enough, she is also involved as a secretary on the school kinder committee at Geelong Baptist College and the parent support committee at Murphy’s Daycare, both on a voluntary basis. A very dedicated community woman!

Despite the numerous hours spent volunteering and being a mum, Renae also manages to find time for a career, namely running her own business. She started Elevation Business Services in 2015 and its primary role is to provide administrative support for small business’ in the local community. The services she provides are varied with a focus on helping business owners with their administrative and social media functions. Her clientele includes Business in Heels, a popular women’s entrepreneurial network.

“I am involved in helping them run any events they may have as well as carrying out administrative duties”.

Renae is eager to help mums get back in the workforce after having kids. Her business and choice of clientele is her way of helping make this happen.

The question readers will be asking is how does a woman like Renae find the time to wear so many hats and contribute so much? She credits her husband Chris Noonan in helping her manage such a busy schedule.

“He is amazing, we work as a team”, she says, “we give each other time to do different things. This helps us be better parents and better people”.

The question readers would be asking is if Renae actually ever has time to sleep.

“I sleep very well”, laughs Renae. “Trust me, I do!”

After doing so much, I think it is fair to say she is entitled to!

The little girls that run around for the Golden Plains Soccer Club Under 11s are lucky to have a fantastic role model like Renae Sholte looking after them. The Geelong soccer community can count itself lucky to have their very own super woman in their midst.

Name: Renae Sholte

Favourite A-League team: Melbourne City.

Favourite player: my children, the kids in my Golden Plains Kangas mini roos team and Timmy Cahill

Best thing about Golden Plains Soccer Club: The community feel of the club. We are all pretty good friends as well.

Who is your biggest inspiration: My sister, she is amazing.

Husband is amazing. Chris Noonan.

Hobbies: I don’t have much time for this but I do enjoy reading and yoga.

Who would you like to be stuck on a dessert island with: Emilio Estevez

Where do you see yourself when you retire: Relaxing on a beach with martinis in Fiji and/or doing missionary work.

Renae Scholte and her U/11 Girls Soccer Team