The Banquet Hall at Parliament was the venue for the annual Basketball New Zealand Awards this evening, which recognises excellence and achievement in basketball for the 2021 calendar year.
The evening featured a record 29 awards handed out this year, including a pair of Long Service Awards for two people who have given a lifetime of service to the sport and to the Southland Sharks in the south.
Our General Manager Jill Bolger and Sharks board member (and chair of Southland Basketball) Brian McKenzie were both featured during the evening
LONG SERVICE AWARD
Brian McKenzie was named a Life Member of Southland Basketball in 2017 and is a very popular and approachable face around the Southland Basketball scene.
Brian is the current chair of Southland Basketball and has devoted close to 40 years of administration and referee involvement in Southland in a very hands-on way. He played a leading hand in the establishment of the Southland Sharks, serves on their board, and still acts as Table Commissioner at all home games. He has also been involved in other major decisions such as the move from Southland Basketball Association’s own venue into ILT Stadium Southland.
LONG SERVICE AWARD (40 YEARS SERVICE)
Recognised as the face and voice of the Southland Sharks, Jill Bolger is still very much involved in the game at grass roots level. Jill has been involved in refereeing in the Southland region for over 40 years – whether it be A grade or school competitions, Jill has been actively mentoring senior and junior referees during this time.
Jill’s dedication to upskilling Southland referees is second to none. Her ability to communicate with all age groups is what makes her such an outstanding educator. Jill has also made herself available as a BBNZ referee educator attending a number of age group tournaments, imparting her extensive knowledge of the game.