With new football and netball seasons fast approaching, not many people are looking forward to the return of competition more than Trish Ralph.
The return of her beloved Baggies both to the oval and courts at North Park is a much anticipated time for Ralph.
She has been involved in photography since her teenage years, with the hobby growing on her from a young age after seeing the work of her father.
“I probably inherited my passion for photography from my dad,” she said.
“He took photos and slides before it was a common thing to do – he was ahead of his time a little bit.
“I started taking photos just of family, Jordy (her son) and then his friends and it just grew from there.”
Ralph can be found on the sidelines of nearly every Swifts football and netball game – home or away, rain or shine.
She has become a crucial part of life for Swifts, with her photos becoming popular throughout Stawell.
Ralph said it is an easy thing for her to watch and photograph every game.
"I love the club and the people in it,” she said.
“It is great to be able to capture a moment in time – whether it is a parent with a kid or two friends laughing. And then there is the money shot with the footy I am always chasing.”
While Ralph plays a crucial role with the Baggies, she has an even bigger responsibility when it comes to Monday afternoons.
After starting as a player in the 1990’s she has gradually become involved in the organisation of Stawell’s Women’s day basketball.
The competition provides an outlet for mothers to keep active and social on a Monday afternoon with the peace of mind their children will be cared for at the same time.
“It is a pretty important service to the community,” Ralph said.
“It allows mums to bring their babies down relax for 40 minutes.
“It is great to be able to photograph those ladies that get out there and see them really enjoying themselves.”
Women’s day basketball is set to return in mid-February.
In the mean time, Ralph will continue to count down the days until Swifts’ first match of the season.
“I went away for a month and had break from photography so I am getting keen to get back into it,” Ralph said.
She will be there for the first bounce as ready as ever in search of that “money shot”. “I do it because it puts a smile on peoples faces,” she said.
“They get to see photos of their grandkids, friends, relatives – whoever it may be- they wouldn’t usually see.
“The love of it for me is it makes people happy.”