SANFL club Norwood and an Adelaide school are mourning the shock death of sport leader Ashleigh Young.
Young joined Norwood as the club’s female football coordinator in 2022 after coming up through the South Australian sporting ranks in football (soccer) and with the SANFL under-18 girls team.
She had also worked as the director of sport and recreation at private all-girls school Wilderness since 2022.
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The 31-year-old died surrounded by family on Thursday night following asthma complications.
Norwood said it was “devastated” by Young’s death.
Young was a key contributor at Norwood. Credit: Norwood
“Ashleigh’s commitment and love for our club, the female football program and the people involved within was incredible,” the lcub said.
“Ashleigh has been an outstanding contributor to the Norwood Football Club for the past three seasons, especially within the female football space, across both the senior women and junior girls programs.
“A warm and caring individual, Ashleigh played diverse roles in the lives of so many at our club — a mother figure, a sister, a friend, a mentor, and a confidant.
“In essence, she was a beautiful lady. Her smile, commitment and unwavering determination to support programs she believed in and proudly led will be greatly missed.
“Her absence leaves a significant void, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to her family, partner and friends.
“We share in the sorrow of losing such a remarkable person and are grateful for the positive impact she made within the Norwood Football Club community.
“May her memory continue to inspire and bring comfort during this difficult time. Our club, players, coaches, staff, volunteers and supporters will miss you greatly.
“Ashleigh passed away on Thursday night surrounded by family. Rest in peace Ashleigh.”
Wilderness said it was “deeply saddened” and paid tribute to Young’s passion for sport and leadership.
Young began at Wilderness in 2022. Credit: Wilderness
“Her vision in her own words was to ‘lead programs to ensure that aspiring young female athletes have the opportunity to reach the highest level, and to see every girl have fun with their friends and experience the joy of team sport’,” the school said.
“She very much embodied this vision every day at Wilderness, with exceptional warmth, care, kindness and humour.
“An incredible person, Ash was very much loved by staff and students and made a tremendous impact within our community. She will be deeply missed.
“Our heartfelt condolences are with her family, partner and friends during this incredibly challenging time, and thoughts and prayers with our whole community as we grieve this loss together.”
Football SA also joined other sporting clubs around the state in mourning Young.
“Football SA is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Ashleigh Young,” it said.
“Ashleigh worked at our organisation for 7 years as an administrator and coach, and was a dedicated member of the football community as a player, and as a fan.
“We send our deepest condolences to Ashleigh’s friends and family during this incredibly sad time.”
Young (right) played key roles at numerous sporting clubs around SA. Credit: John Emery/Norwood
Payneham Norwood Union footy club said: “Whilst not a direct part of PNU, Ashleigh was an integral part of our strong connection to the Women’s program at Norwood. She will be missed by not only Norwood but the broader SA football community, including PNUFC.”
Hope Valley junior football club wrote: “Ashleigh was an amazing contributor to female football and a great sounding board for young players. She will be missed.”