Kicking goals after cancer battle
IT HAS been a whirlwind 12 months for Cameron Hyde who overcame a cancer battle before taking on a coaching role with a soccer team on the Far North Coast.
Hyde was announced as the Far North Coast Community Coach of the Year endorsed by Newcastle Permanent Building Society.
This recognition is well deserved but also reveals a story behind the story.
It is a one much like many others, with his involvement in soccer starting as a young player when the game was as simple as kicking a ball with his mates.
Although playing with South Lismore for most of his junior days, the opportunity to play premier division saw him move to Lismore Workers Club for four years, including as captain for one season at age 20.
Graduating as a PE teacher saw the local boy head further west and spend three years at Tamworth a school.
The lure of overseas travel then saw a stint in London where a mix of teaching and venturing around Europe for 15 months was everything that a "twenty something” could wish for.
Fate would intervene in 2016 when Hyde received news that he had been diagnosed with rectal cancer.
The-then 26 year old had to start urgent treatment and returned home to Lismore.
A series of intensive radiation and chemotherapy, a 13-hour operation and subsequent long stay in hospital saw Hyde face a tough time over the following seven months. The physical toll was significant but despite an obvious pain, his steely resolve through this challenging time was an inspiration to see.
A gradual improvement in Hyde's condition at the start of 2017 saw him finding solace in soccer as he started his first senior coaching role.
Hyde led South Lismore to the men's Division One pointscore title and promotion to the premier league in 2018 after a 15-year hiatus.
He understands that senior football is largely about man-management and is results driven. While embracing the success on the pitch this year, it is Hyde's other coaching role that he demonstrates most passion.
Working with Liverpool FC Academy head coach James Gow as a coaching co-ordinator is Hyde's benchmark for making a meaningful contribution.
"Trying to instil values in young people and seeing genuine effort, respect and improvement, makes me very proud,” Hyde said.