THE Korumburra Basketball Association has been named the 2018/19 Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) Small Association of the Year at the recent VJBL Delegates Meeting at the State Basketball Centre.
In what was a pleasant surprise for the Korumburra Association, who only learned they were in the running for the accolade a few days before the award was presented to them.
“We are blown away,” said association president Mat Holmes.
“The award has really come out of left field, but it’s a huge honour and we are really grateful to be recognised in this way.”
The Victorian Junior Basketball League incorporates competitions conducted state-wide and provides the highest level of junior competition in Victoria.
The VJBL boasts over 1200 teams from 54 associations across Victoria and schedules over 14,500 games across 78 venues each season.
The Korumburra Basketball Association has worked hard over many years to provide competitive teams within the league, against much larger and stronger metropolitan associations. Previous recipients of this award were the likes of Bendigo and Ballarat.
“I’m not sure if people understand the commitment and hard work that goes into running such a program, but we have a great coordinator in Scott McKenzie who leads the charge, and a fabulous committee, as well as the support of the wider local basketball community,” Mat said.
During the presentation, Korumburra Basketball was recognised for their continued and consistent on court success, having five out of seven teams compete in finals, the 12 Boys taking out the premiership and the 14 Girls finishing runners-up and for the first time ever having a team – the 18 Boys – compete at the highest possible level in Championship Division.
The Wildcats are continually receiving positive feedback on their incredible hospitality when hosting home games.
“It was a real pat on the back when several delegates mentioned the good old country hospitality we provide.
“We always get lots of compliments about the presentation of our courts, the fact that we announce all of the players before each game, and provide a supper for all visiting teams every week. The kids love it, and it’s something that gives us a point of difference.
“We really pride ourselves on not only being able to compete against larger clubs, but also providing a platform and opportunity for kids right throughout the South Gippsland region to play at this higher level,” said Mat.
“If not for this, kids and their parents would be making multiple trips to Melbourne each week for trainings and games, and for many families, this is not a viable option.
“We have always opened our doors to players and their families from neighbouring associations to play for our VJBL sides.
“We are really proud that we have tried to make it a South Gippsland focused club, and we are really grateful for the support we have been given from our fellow associations. Without them, this award would not be possible”, said Mat.