IT’S gearing up to be a big weekend for the Kirchner family of Horsham, with netball and football finals dominating.
Jenny Kirchner has a long history with the Noradjuha-Quantong Football Netball Club, going back to before Quantong and Noradjuha merged.
This weekend she will be at the sidelines barracking for the B grade team as her daughter, Brianna, plays in the grand final against Kalkee.
Jenny knows what a great feeling it is to be on the winning team, having played in two premierships in 1997 and 1999.
It’s already been a big week, with Jenny presented with a Distinguished Service Award at the Horsham District Football Netball League’s best and fairest count on Monday night, for her contribution to the league.
Meanwhile her husband Tony and son Lee are hoping celebrate a Melbourne win in the semi-finals tonight.
Jenny and Tony moved from South Australia to the Wimmera in 1983 where Jenny continued her love of netball, with the Noradjuha netball club.
Tony started their truck repair business from the back of a ute and would drive around as a mobile truck repair mechanic.
It’s very much a family league and we get really good crowds.Jenny Kirchner
Jenny did the books for the business plus worked part-time at what was then, HBA when their eldest son was about 12 months.
She played netball in between children and for a couple more years after the third one was born.
They continued to build the Kirchner Trucks business, first renting a shed in Horsham off Stawell Road, then moving to another rented shed next to where Norton Ford is currently.
They finally built their own shed on Stawell Road and have run the business from there since.
While the children were young Jenny would work from home but then worked at the office during school hours.
“Then it just got longer hours,” she laughed.
All through, her tie to netball continued.
Noradjuha and Quantong merged, then they joined the football club and then became one of 11 football netball clubs to be part of the Horsham District Football Netball League.
Jenny has been on the board as a club representative ‘forever’ and has umpired and coached at various times, with a junior team she coached winning a premiership in 1999.
She admitted that she was probably the person who had been there the longest at the moment.
She said her role was much easier these days because the AFL Wimmera Mallee League had two people who did most of the paperwork.
She added that “the people who run the clubs are pretty good” and there didn’t seem to be many issues across the Horsham district league.
“It seems to be run really well with both the football and netball together. It’s very much a family league and we get really good crowds,” she said.
This is a good reflection on the smooth running of the league because it stretches from Jeparit-Rainbow across to Edenhope-Apsley, to Harrow-Balmoral and down to Stawell with four senior grades, four junior grades and one NetSetGo modified netball grade.
The truck repair business has been ‘quietly growing’ as well to become a strong part of the Horsham business economy.
From a two-person operation from the back of a ute and the kitchen table, it has grown to its current site, to employ Jenny and Tony, two of their sons, Lee and Brad, plus two mechanics and an apprentice.
Jenny said the mechanics had started with them as apprentices and had been there a few years, which was good because it was hard to get mechanics to fill positions.
They cover from Stawell to Nhill in the mobile repairs and get a lot of repeat business from trucks that travel regularly through Horsham on contracts to Adelaide from Melbourne and Sydney.
They also get busy in the grain season with farm trucks which were getting bigger than before.
Jenny professes she’s not a truck tragic.
“I know most of the makes and models and what goes where,” she said.
“But I stick to the office.”
But this weekend it’s all about netball and football finals.
It will be a family affair for the big netball game, and a double celebration for Tony and Lee if Melbourne get through the semi-final against Hawthorn.