Outstanding achievements across country basketball are set to be celebrated this week as the Basketball Victoria Country Awards will be announced via social media and our website.
The Awards will be presented in three sections this week – Off The Court Winners (Wednesday 20 May), On the Court Winners (Friday 22 May) and last but not least, the Jack Terrill Medal (Sunday 24 May).
The 2019 BVC Awards recipients shone on and off the court across last year and our best will be recognised for their achievements across administration, volunteering, coaching, refereeing, as well as our Player and Association awards.
The peak award is the Jack Terrill Medal – named for one of BVC’s most influential figures across its storied 50-year history – which recognises an outstanding contribution to Country Victorian basketball over a number of years.
ON THE COURT WINNERS – FRIDAY 22 MAY
Our elite athletes, coaches, referees and associations shone in 2019 as their efforts highlighted the strength of Country Victorian basketball throughout the state.
Gail Macfarlane excelled in 2019, both as an assistant coach with the Vic Country Under-16 Girls as well as earning one of the inaugural Marty Handson Scholarships. Her achievements made her a worthy winner of the 2019 Female Coach of the Year, which came as a bit of a surprise.
“I am so humbled and appreciative to be named as Female Coach of the Year,” Macfarlane said. “It came as such a shock I was speechless!
“With so many fantastic people involved in our community it is such an honour to receive this recognition for doing the things that I enjoy in a sport I love.
Being part of the state team set-up and heading off to Darwin with the team was an immense highlight for her. Gail and the Vic Country girls went within a whisker of getting into the gold medal game, but eventually finishing with the bronze medal to cap off the campaign.
“2019 was a bit of a breakout year for me with my first experience within the state team program,” McFarlane said. “It was such a steep learning curve and sparked fantastic learning and partnerships. Whilst we fell agonising in the semi-final, I loved every moment of my first nationals with a wonderful team staff to learn from and outstanding athletes to mentor.”
On a more individual and personal note, she was also part of the Handson Scholarship and went to Fiji to spread the skills of country basketball throughout the Oceania region. For her, it was an eye-opening experience and one that she’ll never forget as she got to develop the country’s basketball passion up-close and personal.
“2019 also brought never seen opportunities to me through my Handson Scholarship tour to Fiji,” Macfarlane said. “I will forever be grateful to FIBA Oceania and BVC for that experience, and the friendships made with staff at volunteers at Basketball Fiji.
“This opportunity highlighted how very lucky we are in Country Victoria for our resources and way of life and gave me an opportunity to reflect on coaching, fundamental skills and our competitions.
“This experience just inspired me more to participate in every opportunity that BVC provides for its coaches, officials and players.”
Receiving the Male Coach of the Year was another familiar face to our under-16 Vic Country stars – our Under-16 Girls head coach Mat Holmes.
“Humbled, honored and thankful,” Holmes said. “So many people are deserving of these awards – it is a team sport that we all love, so individual awards are really a reflection on being surrounded by wonderful teams, players and people, which I was very lucky to be.”
Heading off for his first campaign as a Vic Country head coach stands out to Holmes alongside some incredible successes at Korumburra with both senior and junior sides.
“I was really fortunate to be given some fantastic opportunities in 2019, which did end in some on court successes,” Holmes said. “My first AJC as head coach of U16 Vic County Women who achieved a bronze medal was pretty special, as was snagging a Div 2 Country Championship with the Korumburra U18 Girls, but I couldn’t go past the Gippsland CBL Women’s Championship win with Korumburra for the 2018-19 season. – they were a fantastic team who finally broke through after being so close for so long.”
Our Junior Female Athlete of the Year was Jade Melbourne, who had an extraordinary 2019 full of highlights including Australian representation and joining the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence.
“It’s an honour to win this award considering the talented athletes that have won it before me,” Melbourne said. “It’s really cool to be recognised for what I have done throughout my time in the country system.
“For me 2019 was a great year – the things that stand out to me were probably starting up at COE and also representing Australia at the Under-17 Oceania Qualifiers.
“A big highlight though was definitely playing my last nationals for Victoria Country and coming away with a bronze medal with a group of girls that I had been through the pathway with.”
Our Junior Male Athlete of the Year was Dyson Daniels, who had an exceptional 2019 on court with a number of high profile accomplishments including Australian selection and NBA Academy selection as well as representing Victoria Country.
“It feels great to win a BVC award,” Daniels said. “Growing up being part of the country basketball program has really helped develop me and make me a better player and person – it feels really good to know all the hard work I have put in has earned me this award.
“I would say all the amazing trips I was able to go on and the teams I was selected in stand out to me about 2019 – being selected for an Australian team was amazing, even though we were unable to compete just being selected to represent my country is a great feeling.
“Also being able to play for Vic country at nationals was great and being selected in the NBA academy and going on overseas trips and getting great coaching was really good for me.”
Our refereeing winners stood out for their elite actions on court with Junior Female Referee – Courtney Carroll (Shepparton) and Fletcher Smith (Warragul) named our Junior Referees of the Year while Taylah Flint (Bendigo) and Brodie McLachlan (Warragul).
Tayla Flint continues to shine in her rise up the Victorian and Australian refereeing pathway as she wanted to thank those who helped her along the way.
“This is the third time winning this award and I’m just as honoured this time as I was the first, especially because this award is named after Helen Pawsey who was a huge part of my BVC career pathway,” Flint said. “So thank you Helen and thank you BVC!
“2019 was a big year for me, going into my third WNBL season and clocked up 100 NBL1/SEABL games, but reflecting now in isolation, I think the thing that stands out the most is I was able to just enjoy doing something that I love almost every weekend of the year.”
Brodie McLachlan was proud to win the Senior Male Referee of the Year and believes his return to refereeing marked an important chapter in his life.
“In the beginning of 2019 I was going through some things – I wanted to get back to doing things that made me happy,” McLachlan said. “So I asked if I could go and referee at the Division 1 and 2 championships as I hadn’t been to an event in a long time.
“From the moment i walked in on the Friday night and saw so many old faces, alongside new and eager faces I had a feeling of home – I’d grown up at these events, they were not always my finest moments, but definitely full of life lessons.
“Being at these events re–ignited a passion for basketball and refereeing, it may take it out of my old body now, more than it used to, but the fun and friendship is far more rewarding and enjoyable.
“To even be invited back to the same event early this year was exciting enough for me, then to be rewarded with an award…. I’m truly humbled by it.
“I thank all of my basketball family for all of the good times had and hopefully we can get back to having more good times together soon!”
Our referee development awards were won by Bendigo, Warrnambool and Wonthaggi respectively for their achievements in this field.
OFF THE COURT WINNERS – WEDNESDAY 20 MAY
Our sporting successes on the court are underpinned by the incredible behind-the-scenes operators throughout basketball.
The tireless administrators working to organise competitions, teams and courts. The amazing volunteers who raise their hands at a moment’s notice to help out. The associations who provide our children with an elite environment they can join and make their own. They write the feature pieces and articles that keep our sport at the forefront of the community.
We see this year-in, year-out with familiar faces returning to support the growth of basketball and see the excitement of all involved.
Throughout our associations, administrators and volunteers, the elite can rise to the top and have the foundation needed around them to succeed.
Our Outstanding Achievement awards highlight the incredible efforts of all our associations, from the biggest in the community through to those who do an amazing job in smaller areas to support the heartbeat of basketball.
Bellarine has continued its incredible surge in recent years to claim the Outstanding Achievement by a Large Association accolade, as well as seeing Aaron Lothian win the Male Administrator of the Year.
Also excelling in this category are Horsham (Medium Association) and Riddells Creek (Small Association) to highlight the strong work achieved by these associations across the board.
Aaron Lothian, on accepting the Male Administrator of the Year, said it was a team effort and one he was proud to be an important part of at Bellarine.
“It’s an absolute privilege to accept this award and it is a true testament of all the hard work that the BPBA team put in to make our great sport as good as it can be.“
Lothian was excited to also see Bellarine receive the Oustanding Achievement by a Large Association award.
“What an honour to accept this award for the second time in two years, we are very lucky that everyone in our association works extremely hard to continue to excel at all levels and wants to make Bellarine an association everyone can be proud of,” Lothian said.
Our Female Administrator of the Year was awarded to Branca McFarlane (Phillip Island) who was glowingly recommended in her nomination for this award.
The nomination talked proudly about how she is dedicated, professional, skilled in organisational and communication and that she has a winning combination of skills, passion, care, dedication and community spirit, making her the backbone of the small association.
Our Volunteers of the Year were respectively awarded to Bess Gillard (Mansfield) and Tony Kane (Bellarine) with both outstanding individuals highlighted for their passion and commitment, especially as both stand presidents and some of the hardest working people in their associations.
Emily Attard (Melton) continues to be a beacon of positivity and encouragement throughout her association as she was awarded the Contribution by a Female to Diversity and Inclusion award after establishing an All Abilities inclusion program for the wider community of Melton. The program has taken three years to establish and July 2018 saw the program gain weekly access. Emily is also a huge advocate for Girls Got Game and This Girl Can and was recently awarded as the City of Melton’s Young Citizen of the Year 2019.
Our Contribution by a Male to Diversity and Inclusion has been awarded to Paul Bugg (Geelong United) who currently runs Sharks Basketball and has been a fixture at the association for many years. He puts his hand up for everything – from scoring, coaching and mentoring – while also being a phenomenal mentor and advocate for players of all abilities, ensuring they all thrive, while teaching life skills to help them become more independent.
Megan Sultry (McPherson Media Group) has been a fixture at local basketball in recent times in her work across a number of regional newspapers and is an exceptional recipient of the Outstanding Promotion of Basketball award.
BVC General Manager David Huxtable said it was important to recognise Country Victoria’s most committed individuals as their work ensures that the sport continues to thrive.
“We continue to be impressed by the work of basketball administrators, volunteers and the working media in country Victoria,” BVC General Manager David Huxtable said. “We see people devote their lives and any spare moment to the joy of others on the basketball court and that’s why it’s important to acknowledge their contributions as well as our elite players, referees and coaches.
“I’d especially like to highlight the work of our volunteers – country Victorian basketball’s community is extraordinarily generous with its time and energy and this shows across the state.
“Our associations are doing amazing things and it can only be achieved in country Victoria with a group of motivated volunteers working for the good of the club or association.”
BVC AWARDS – 2019 WINNERS
Junior Female Athlete – Jade Melbourne (Traralgon)
Junior Male Athlete – Dyson Daniels (Bendigo)
Female Coach of the Year – Gail McFarlane (Traralgon)
Male Coach of the Year – Mat Holmes (Korumburra)
Junior Female Referee – Courtney Carroll (Shepparton)
Junior Male Referee – Fletcher Smith (Warragul)
Senior Female Referee – Taylah Flint (Bendigo)
Senior Male Referee – Brodie McLachlan (Warragul)
Development of Referees at a Large Association – Bendigo
Development of Referees at a Medium Association – Warrnambool
Development of Referees at a Small Association – Wonthaggi
Outstanding Achievement by a Large Association – Bellarine
Outstanding Achievement by a Medium Association – Horsham
Outstanding Achievement by a Small Association – Riddells Creek
Female Administrator of the Year – Branca McFarlane (Phillip Island)
Male Administrator of the Year – Aaron Lothian (Bellarine)
Female Volunteer of the Year – Bess Gillard (Mansfield)
Male Volunteer of the Year – Tony Kane (Bellarine)
Contribution by a Female to Diversity and Inclusion – Emily Attard (Melton)
Contribution by a Male to Diversity and Inclusion – Paul Bugg (Geelong United)
Outstanding Promotion of Basketball – Megan Sultry – (McPherson Media Group)