Young Timaru basketball referee wins NZ award

Basketball referee Reagan Ashley has gained national recognition. Picture: STUFF SPORTS.

One day Reagan Ashley might be able to fly himself around New Zealand to referee matches.

At present, the Timaru 19-year-old who dreams of becoming a pilot is certainly flying high in basketball picking up Basketball New Zealand’s young volunteer of the year award in Wellington recently.

Due to Covid-19 disruptions in 2020 the award was for the 2019 year.

Ashley, pleased to receive the national recognition, said he had to juggle quite a lot to make it all happen.

“I have a full time job as well, but I have no accurate figure of how many games I referee. It takes a significant amount of time.”

As well as refereeing South Canterbury club matches, Ashley travelled around the country refereeing national league games and national youth championships.

“It’s a hobby and a part-time thing and I juggle pilot training on the side. My dream is to get a pilot’s licence.”

Ashley started playing the sport at St Joseph’s Primary School in Timaru. At the age of 12 he preferred to be refereeing and has been doing so ever since.

The South Canterbury competition was just ramping up and he expected to have another busy season in the coming months travelling around the country in his spare time to referee.

“It’s definitely my goal to referee internationally, but it’s a time thing age wise.”

Also honoured at the awards in Wellington was former Tall Blacks coach Keith Mair, who spent his early coaching career at Timaru Boys’ High School.

Mair was named a Basketball New Zealand Legend joining Pero Cameron, Anita Hannen, Zena Gay, Sir Lance Cross, Stan Hill, and Carolyn Grey.

Five people were inducted into the Hall of Fame – former women’s national team player Sally McPhee, long time administrator Barbara Wheadon, 13-year Tall Blacks captain Glen Denham, and FIBA vice president Burton Shipley. The 1978 Tall Blacks, who were coached by the late Steve McKean, were also inducted into the Hall of Fame.

 

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