The awards panel stated that the Buller Association fulfilled all of the award criteria in 2017. When considering this award, the panel went beyond traditional measures and hard statistics, especially as the majority of Associations operate in unique environments and face a variety of challenges, which is the case for the Buller Basketball Association.
Over the last several years the Buller community has faced true adversity. The region’s job market has been significantly reduced leading to a decrease is the local population. Despite this, Basketball is alive in the region. Membership numbers are stable and there is a strong volunteer presence in the basketball community. Although there has not been a spike in total overall numbers, the Buller Association has been relatively successful given some of the external factors influencing the community environment.
This year Buller will host a South Island ‘A’ grade Schick Secondary Schools premiership tournament. This is a testament to the perseverance of the Association and its determination to overcome tough obstacles.
Context is important and in this instance – this 2017 award recognises an isolated sports association that has continued to work for the game during a time when many sports have struggled. Buller is a fantastic example of what a community association can achieve.