Jess O’Halloran has been involved with the Smithton Basketball Club since her eldest son, Nash, developed an interest in the sport six years ago.
Every year since then, Jess has become more and more entrenched in the Club, taking on more roles each year as she spread herself far and wide. Now, she’s the Win TV Volunteer of the Year.
“I was as surprised as anyone,” said Jess.
This year Jess has been the Junior Coordinator, Club Vice President, Manager of the Under 14 Boys Team, and has also helped at the local rosters, helped at Aussie Hoops and lent a hand at the canteen when needed. She is also now the umpire of the school basketball.
Jess says that here commitment to the club likely stems from the way she was raised.
“It’s probably because of the way I was brought up, parents would automatically do that for us when we were growing up,”
“And obviously I love all the kids.”
Jess says that forming bonds with the kids as they come through the junior program as well as their parents, the volunteers, coaches and umpires is what makes volunteering so rewarding for her.
“I love that. I love my job for the same reason,” Jess said, of her job at Kozani Kutz.
“That’s why I do it basically.”
She said that though she became involved when Nash began to play, her love for the club has since grown to be much more than that as she has become a key part of the basketball community in the region.
“Not only is it for my boys, you get to know everybody and their friends and it’s just one great big family,” she said.
“So if everyone can do their bit it makes it easier.”
As participation soars across most Divisions and on court performances begin to lift, Jess says she has noticed a positive change.
“The last 12 months have been great, we’ve got so many kids joining, girls especially,” Jess said.
“The next couple of years are going to be really exciting.”
She was excited about the junior girls program in particular.
“Our junior girls are looking really promising, give them a couple of years and we will grow, it’s looking pretty good.
“I’m really proud of the girls for kickstarting and getting into it.”
One big happy family: Win TV Volunteer of the Year and Smithton Basketball Club Vice President Jess O’Halloran says that the Smithton Basketball Club has become one great big family.