BASKETBALL Victoria Country has recognised its best and brightest of 2016 at its annual awards today (Sunday 2 April).
The Basketball Victoria Country Awards Breakfast – held in Bendigo in conjunction with the BVC Under 12 Country Championships – celebrated the achievements of players, associations, referees, volunteers and contributors throughout our country basketball community.
Receiving the highest honour in country basketball – the Jack Terrill Medal – were Bendigo’s Karla Coulson and Don Coulson.
For their tireless work in the Bendigo basketball community – from supporting the stadium’s expansion over the years, helping the best juniors rise through the ranks and generally being part of the furniture at Bendigo Stadium – the Coulsons were amazed to get the recognition for following their passion over the years.
“Very, very ecstatic is the word – this nomination means a lot to Don and I, especially to get it as a joint award – I’d hate to have thought that he’d got it and I didn’t,” Karla Coulson laughed. “To the amount of time we’ve put in to the basketball has just been a journey that we’ve both enjoyed, made lots of friends and seen a lot of athletes go through to the highest level and to think that we’ve actually been part of it means more to me than anything.”
So what keeps them in basketball throughout the years? To see countless generations come through the doors, excel, head off and come back with their children for another run around the courts?
“That’s a good question,” Don Coulson said. “I don’t know if I have an answer for that.
“It’s just a passion for the sport – it’s our sport and we just want to keep it going, keep it growing bigger and better and you’ve got to keep the kids coming through to do that.
“If we can be a help in that… then that’s great.”
Their hard work – alongside a myriad of other Bendigo administrators and volunteers – has seen the Bendigo Stadium expand
“When we started playing, it was at the YM, inside-outside court, the women had to go to Sandhurst to the old showgrounds to play there and that’s when junior basketball started to form,” Karla Coulson said. “We all got together to form this two-court stadium we had up on court six and seven and I was on the committee that helped get the other three courts built.
“When they said we were going to get another two courts I didn’t believe it… and to see it today and the new expansion out there again is just unbelievable.
51 years of devotion to their beloved Beavers Basketball Club, life memberships, recognition from the federal and state level… there were few awards they hadn’t won, but they were especially thrilled to put matching Jack Terrill medals up on the mantle.
“The expansion of basketball in Bendigo has just grown so big and we’ve been lucky and had plenty of good athletes to come out of here but it’s all about the people that volunteer their time,” Karla Coulson said. “Year after year you keep coming back and it’s not a game to us it’s a way of life – we’ve been here nearly all of our lives.”
For exceptional years on court, Jazmin Shelley (COE/Moe/Southern Peninsula) was named Female Athlete of the Year – named after country legend Kristy Harrower – while Matthew Johns (COE/Basketball Geelong) received the male honour named after Ray Borner.
Greater Shepparton Basketball Association won the large association award while Phillip Island and District Basketball Association was recognised as the most outstanding small association.
It is important that individuals and associations who continue to achieve outstanding results are recognised throughout the basketball community in this state. The BVC Awards Committee considered all nominations received and the process to select a winner in each category was difficult given the quality of the nominations.
In 2011 Basketball Victoria Country introduced specific awards to formally recognise and reward individuals and associations in regional Victoria. Now in its sixth year, the BVC Annual Awards are conducted by the BVC Awards Committee under the Chair Ashley Donaldson, a long term servant to our great sport in regional Victoria and a recipient of the prestigious Jack Terrill Medal.
The BVC Awards Breakfast was held in conjunction with the 2016 BVC Under 12 Country Championships which will be conducted over three days from 1-3 April, with over 70 teams competing in Bendigo at this event.
BVC 2016 AWARDS WINNERS LIST
Ashley Donaldson Award – Male Administrator of the Year
Ben White – Southern Peninsula
Judy Doye Award – Female Administrator of the Year
Carolyn Grabham – Korumburra
Bill McCarthy Award – Outstanding Promotion of Basketball
Joel Peterson – Bendigo Weekly/Fresh FM
Bob Osborne Award – Outstanding Contribution by a Female to Diversity and Inclusion
Sarah Huxtable Bendigo Basketball Association
Garry Bird Award – Outstanding Contribution by a Male to Diversity and Inclusion
David Roberts – Gipps Sport
Jack Terrill Medal
Karla Coulson – Bendigo
Don Coulson – Bendigo
Keith Wilson Award – Outstanding Achievement by a Small Association
Phillip Island and District Basketball Association
Outstanding Achievement by a Large Association
Greater Shepparton Basketball Association
Ross Birthisel Award – Male Volunteer of the Year
Andrew Murray – Orbost
Bev Bauer Award – Female Volunteer of the Year
Tracey Lemaiter – Lakes Entrance
Kristy Harrower Award – Female Athlete of the Year
Jazmin Shelley – COE/Moe/Southern Peninsula
Ray Borner Award – Male Athlete of the Year
Matthew Johns – COE/Basketball Geelong
Cheryl Crieghton Award – Female Coach of the Year
Emma Henry – Wangaratta
Owen Hughan Award – Male Coach of the Year
Lucas Allen – Southern Peninsula
Dennis Morgan Award – Female Junior Referee of the Year
Aimy Freeman – Moe
Terry Davis Award – Male Junior Referee of the Year
Cory Bannister – Bendigo
John Holden Award – Referee Development by a Large Association
Noel Byers Award – Referee Development by a Small Association
Wangaratta Basketball Association
Rod Bush Award – Outstanding Achievement by a Senior Male Referee
Jordan Royal – Traralgon
Helen Pawsey Award – Outstanding Achievement by a Senior Female Referee
Bianca Vernon – Southern Peninsula