The Canning Vale resident was recently honoured with Baseball Australia’s club coach of the year award for his efforts at Willetton Baseball Club.
Tovey, the club’s little league and junior coach, has been linked with the sport for more than three decades but only started coaching six years ago after a plea from his son Gabriel.
‘Gabriel has Asperger syndrome and wanted me to coach him,’ he said.
‘He was the first one to get me into coaching and I’m glad he did because it has changed my life. To see Gabriel and my other sons, Michael and Nicholas, develop confidence from baseball has been a highlight for me.’
Tovey said he was ‘humbled’ to receive national recognition from Baseball Australia and believed coaching was about ‘making a difference’.
‘I love being able to impart knowledge to the youngsters and help them become good citizens for their community,’ he said. ‘Teaching life lessons is part of coaching in my opinion and being able to form friendships with the kids and their family beyond baseball has been incredible.’
Tovey was at the helm of Central Firebirds, a little league team comprising players from Willetton, Gosnells and South Perth baseball clubs, during their historic run in the Little League World Series in the US last year.
‘It was the first time an Australian team had made it to the World Series and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life,’ he said. ‘Baseball is an emerging sport in Australia and is particularly strong in Perth.’