PORT Macquarie Basketball Association has the best referee program of any club of less than 2000 members in the state.
The award was handed out at the NSW Basketball Awards in early October and is testament to the dedication of the referee coordinators, referee development officer Josh Burghardt, the PMBA Board and the referees themselves.
“It shows a lot of credence in our work and what we do,” Burghardt said.
“It’s not just about working hard, it’s about the time and extra miles everyone does by refreshing over the rules and doing things like extra courses to try and be the best they can be.”
The PMBA program sees officials from the age of 12 commencing as trainee officials who are guided by experienced referees to officiate grades from junior domestic up to the senior domestic competition.
Many of the officials go on to officiate in our Northern Junior League with Josh Minihan awarded as the junior referee of the year for the Northern Region.
“I’m amazed at the work ethic of the kids who just want to get better and aren’t afraid to take on board constructive criticism,” Burghardt said.
This year, as has happened in the past, the referees represented the club with excellence.
Of the 11 finals competed Port Macquarie had officials in nine of those games and also had several others who officiated to a high standard this past season.
The club also had three young officials recently attend Jamboree, a training ground for several of our more senior officials.
This year alone the referees were invited to attend state championships, State Cup, country development tours, Country Premier League finals and Ivor Burge championships.
The majority of their representative officials are also playing officials with the only non-playing official being the referee development officer and an active official in the Waratah Senior League and Country Premier League.
“The challenge for us now is to be consistent,” Burghardt said.
“Five years in a row is a long time to be doing what we’re doing, but they’re all driving each other.
“It’s my first full-time year in the role, but it’s incredible the levels of willingness to learn that are on show.
“The proof is in the pudding.”