By Shelby Brooks

THREE local basketball clubs have received top gongs at the Basketball Victoria Country Awards.

Winners on and off the court were announced last week for the 2019 season which included Phillip Island, Korumburra and Wonthaggi Basketball Associations.

Branca McFarlane of Phillip Island and District Basketball Association was awarded

Tess and Ruby became referees through the Wonthaggi Basketball Association, which was just honoured in the Basketball Victoria Country Awards for its referee program. Photo taken before social distancing.

the Female Administrator of the Year, much to her surprise.

“I was pretty shocked – I found out later that the committee and my husband were in cahoots,” Branca said.

Branca has been a club administrator since 2016 which involves working tirelessly to put fixtures together, take registrations, run competitions and coordinate with referees.

She is currently administrator for three different competitions run on the Island.

“I enjoy giving kids a sporting opportunity outside of school. They can get out there with friends and just enjoy themselves,” she said.

“Watching them develop skills wise is rewarding.”

Wonthaggi Basketball Association won the Development of Referees at a Small Association award.

President Cathy Garnham said the award was an honour for the junior and senior players who participated in the referee program.

Korumburra Basketball Association president and coach Mat Holmes was awarded Male Coach of the Year at the Basketball Victoria Country Awards.

“A lot of junior kids come through our referee program which involves ongoing training, upskilling, critiquing them weekly and giving them continuous feedback to support them as they begin their journey in officiating,” she said.

“We are very focused internally, we aren’t trying to compete with associations, so it was a big surprise.”

Male Coach of the Year was awarded to Mat Holmes of the Korumburra Basketball Association.

Mat coaches the Under 16 Girls State Team and is the Gippsland High Performance Coach and head of the South Gippsland Basketball Academy.

For Korumburra, he has coached the Women’s CBL team, the Under 18s Girls Representative Team and the Under 16 Girls VJBL team and is also club president.

Congratulations to all three clubs for their awards.