Bocce Australia published an article on Bocce SA’s past president Mirella Mancini OAM.
This month we honour Mirella Mancini OAM, who this past month has stepped down as President of Bocce SA.
Mirella Mancini, a name synonymous with unwavering dedication, has made indelible contributions to the sport of bocce in South Australia, earning accolades and pioneering achievements that span decades.
From her introduction to bocce in 1990 to her ongoing commitment in 2023, Mirella has left an indelible mark on the sport.
Mirella’s journey in the world of bocce began in 1990 when she was introduced to this captivating sport. Her passion and dedication quickly shone, and she attended the 1993 conference in Queensland, where her coaching journey was initiated.
One of Mirella’s proudest moments came in 1995 when she became the first woman to hold the position of President in South Australia, setting a groundbreaking milestone, not only for her state but for all of Australia. Under her leadership, South Australia became the very first state in Australia to host the National Women’s Championship.
Mirella’s dedication extended to her role as Public Relations Officer for the South Australian Bocce Federation in 1995, where she played an instrumental role in securing funding for the inaugural Australian National Women’s Bocce Championship, held in South Australia alongside the Men’s 26th Championship.
In 1997, Mirella took on the dual role of Secretary and Public Relations Officer for the Federation, during which she created the Federation’s 25th Anniversary Booklet, commemorating a quarter-century of bocce excellence.
Her commitment did not stop there. Mirella continued to promote, develop, and assist in various initiatives, including engaging with schools, corporate groups, and participating in high-profile events like Carnevale at Adelaide Showground.
Her dedication culminated in her appointment as President of the Federation for two years in 2003 and subsequent roles as Development/Public Relations Officer, Secretary/Treasurer, and President – a position she has continued to serve diligently up until August 27, 2023.
Throughout her illustrious career, Mirella has consistently aimed to elevate the status of bocce in South Australia. She orchestrated the 10th anniversary of the Women’s Bocce Championship and the 35th Men’s Championship in 1995, both held in South Australia, leaving an indelible mark on the sport.
Mirella’s contributions extend beyond her home state. In 1999, she coordinated and served as the Public Relations Officer for bocce during the 7th Australian Masters Competitions in Adelaide – yet another milestone event for Bocce, proudly hosted by South Australia.
She continued to support Bocce’s growth, organising the U18 Junior National Bocce Championship in Adelaide in 2001, which saw South Australia clinch the doubles titles. Her commitment to the development of bocce was officially recognised in 2002 when she was awarded a trophy by the Australian Bocce Federation for her role in expanding bocce competitions.
Mirella has not only excelled as an administrator but also as a player and coach. In 2005, she played a crucial role as both coach and player, helping her team secure a silver medal for doubles at the nationals.
Mirella has also been instrumental in introducing bocce to new audiences. She organised numerous school bocce clinics, introducing school children to the Italian culture and cuisine while fostering a love for bocce. Additionally, she played a pivotal role in coordinating bocce tournaments in Adelaide for executives and office workers during their lunch breaks through the “Life Be In It” program.
Her commitment to continuous learning and improvement has led her to participate in various seminars, becoming a Level One Coach and attending Sport Specific Referee courses, including one in Melbourne organised by the Bocce Federation Australia Inc.
In recognition of her outstanding contributions, Mirella was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) on Australia Day in 2006, an honour bestowed upon her for her dedicated service to the Italian community and her tireless efforts in promoting the sport of bocce.
Mirella’s journey in bocce has been a trailblazing one, characterised by unwavering dedication, pioneering achievements, and a relentless commitment to promoting and developing the sport in South Australia and beyond.
Article written by Frank Funari.