Passing of John Voyle
Former Softball New Zealand CEO John Voyle passed away peacefully on Thursday 14th of February after a short illness in Whakatane Hospital aged 64.
John was the first full time employee of Softball New Zealand from 1985 to 1997 and in my mind the best administrator the game has had.
John grew up in the Waikato. His father Tom was a member of the SNZ council for many years and Brother Graham a Waikato softball rep so it’s not surprising he was bred to play the game. John represented Waikato in both rugby and softball before shifting to Auckland in 1967 representing Auckland not only as player but as a coach and administrator for many years until he shifted to Wellington to take up his new position.
John had a wonderful softball brain and the gift of knowing and being able to organise tournaments and competitions for the player’s i.e. the Vic Guth possibly the best club tournament in the world during the 70s/80s. John also implemented the Lion Red series in the late 80s and Winfield International series bringing the best players to our shores for both men and women.
John was an exceptional fundraiser for our sport and a strong willed person. If John didn’t get his way he would keep on going until he did, this eventually led to his demise from Softball NZ in 1997 after Government agencies got involved with funding.
From Wellington John moved onto Western Bay of Plenty sport and spent the last 13 years living in Ohope working in the area on different community projects.
I could go on forever about the life of John Allan Voyle, alias Bobo. Bobo would quite often throw an idea at me from left field asking what I thought. If I disagreed and I made a suggestion he would take it onboard and more times than not it worked out okay.
Sport (Softball) Racing and Beer the script was written for him, life was meant to be a good time and Bobo lived it to the full. Bobo upset a few on the way, what the hell they got over it. Who was to know he would leave us at the young age of 64.
John on behalf of all Softballer’s young and growing old thank you for giving us the chance to participate and represent our country on the international scene and making our game what it is today.
On behalf of Softball New Zealand I would like to pass on our condolences at this sad time to all the family
President Softball New Zealand