Volunteers the heart of Nationals

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Whilst the action on-court at the Under 18 Nationals remains the focus of all the attention, there is a band of unsung heroes who are working hard to ensure all goes smoothly – the volunteers, writes Peter Lonergan from the championships.

Australian basketball has long thrived on the back of the work of a huge volunteer base and the Australian Under 18 National Junior Championships in Gawler, South Australia, are a great example of the energy, passion and enthusiasm of our sport’s volunteers.

Led by organising committee chairman David Durant dozens of volunteers from Central Districts, Woodville and North Adelaide have been the backbone of the championships and have been joined by enthusiasts from across the country to ensure the event runs without a hitch.

Roles such as door keeper, floor wipers, court controllers and announcers often go unnoticed in the rush of the championships, but with games commencing at 9am and concluding well into the evening across three courts, there are plenty of man hours to be filled.

Assisting Basketball Australia’s Renae Maycock  in the tournament office are a diligent band of volunteers, ensuring results are up to date, statistics are available and the many requests of coaches and managers are met quickly, with the minimum of fuss.

While the bulk of the volunteers have come from the three South Australian clubs that are hosting the championships, there are plenty of others in town who have put their hand up to help out, with statisticians from Sydney and Canberra, scoretable officials from around the nation and referee coaches and administrators from throughout Australia.

Perhaps the most impressive group of volunteers however was the hard working band of students from the local Trinity College, who dragged themselves out of bed at 4am to prepare and serve the food at the Basketball Australia Junior Awards held at the Starplex on Tuesday morning.

These hard working teenagers have joined all the volunteers at the event in once again proving that basketball is Everyone’s Game.

Peter Lonergan is the Head Coach of the 2010 Australian Under 17 National Women’s Team.


Photo courtesy of Kangaroo Photos