Robin Milligan was predominantly involved with basketball as a referee and administrator. He controlled local matches in Canterbury and National Tournaments during the 1960’s and 70’s, but his real emergence into international refereeing came after he was awarded a FIBA Referee Badge in 1978. This resulted in regular appointments overseas, especially throughout Asia. Prior to Robin’s FIBA appointment there had been a 22 year hiatus since a New Zealand basketball referee had been appointed to an overseas tournament.
Milligan was also involved with BRANZ, serving two terms from 1989 to 1992 as a rules interpreter, and 1995 to 1998 as a technical administrator. He was also on the executive of BRANZ and was awarded a Life membership.
In 1988 Robin refereed at the Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Malaysia and then later that same year at the Seoul Olympic Games. He was the first New Zealand referee to officiate at an Olympics since 1960. Following this he accepted the role of Technical Commissioner for the Oceania senior Championships in 1989.
Milligan continued his referee duties at several international events throughout Asia into the 1990’s. In 1994 he was appointed as Team Manager for the Tall Blacks through to the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Milligan passed away in August 2016. The award was accepted by Milligan’s wife Shirley Milligan.