Thank you, Rae Ballantyne!
In 1993 a young Willetton player was selected to be part of the Under 14 Boys squad preparing for the Australian Under 14 Club Championships in Launceston in 1994. This is a story not about his involvement with our club since then, but rather his Mum’s – even though his story is a great one as well!
In 1993 Shamus Ballantyne’s mum, Rae, joined me in doing a Level 2 Scoretable course and as a result of that we have been involved with the SBL scoretable together since then. In the early days we also shared the job of Education for Scoretable and Rae volunteered to score at many, many National Under age championships that have been hosted in Perth during that time. During her 23 years of service to Willetton, she managed a number of Willetton WABL teams which included being Manager for different coaches when they’ve taken teams to the National Club Championships all around Australia. Coaches such as current WSBL Head Coach, Simon Parker (two different teams), former WSBL Head Coach, Craig Friday, another former club stalwart, Kathy Biddle and for Co-Coaches, my son Ben Langshaw and Renee Collins.
In between all of this she found time to be on what is now called the Representative Teams Committee from 1996 to about 2000. If all of this wasn’t enough, Craig Friday then convinced her to become the Manager of the Willetton Women’s State Basketball League team. She did this arduous task from 1997 for about five seasons.
The jobs kept coming as around that same time, she took on another task. She became a journalist! Each week she sent an article summarising the weekend’s SBL games to the Community Newspapers which they included in the sporting pages. After the first year, they even gave her, her own by-line. She had earnt it and that is why I called her a journalist! She did this important job for about three years until we were able to find a journalist student who was took on the task as part of their work experience.
In 2016, Rae has told me that she will be stepping down from Scoretable and hoped to be able to quietly disappear but we think it is worth recognising when someone has contributed to the club to the degree that Rae has done.
Tonight Rae, husband Jim (who managed the Willetton Men’s State Basketball League team at the same time as she did the ladies – imagine the washing in their house!), son Shamus, daughter-in-law Mel and maybe Rae’s two baby Grand Children Amaya and Spencer, are here as invited guests of the Club so we can say thank you.
From everyone in the Willetton Basketball Association who has benefitted from the many and varied contributions you have made, THANK YOU. Personally I know that I and your fellow scoretable officials will miss you on the bench but everyone hopes to still see you at games.
Scoretable Co-Ordinator – Willetton Tigers
The photo is of Rae, accepting flowers at Saturday night's SBL game from club president, Phil Nixon in recognition of her many years of dedication to Willetton. Thank you Rae
The other photos attached, is of the Under 14 Girls team that competed at the Australian Under 14 Club Championships at Knox, Victoria in 1999. Back row: Rae Ballantyne (Manager), Helen Hartwig (Assistant Manager), Emma Tatulli (#13 Captain), Rebecca Duke (#7), Amanda Nott (#14), Hayley Wardell Johnson (#9), Ben Langshaw (Assistant Coach) and Renae Collins (Coach). Middle row: Kristen Dwyer (#6) and Carly O’Neill (#10) Front row: Stephanie Farrugia (#8), Elizabeth Zezan (#5), Katie Calderwood (#12) and Alyce Klatt (#11).