Sue Pene fell in love with basketball as a 16-year-old and has given a lifetime of service to the game ever since.
She played school basketball in Pukekohe and reps for Counties Manukau. Attending teachers training college in Auckland, she went on to play for North Shore before moving to Wellington and playing more representative basketball in the capital.
On securing a teaching appointment in Whanganui, the recipient began her coaching career and also became involved in the administrative side of the game. In 1992 she moved to Rotorua with her husband Darrell and the pair have been the cornerstone of Rotorua basketball ever since.
Over the past 27 years, the recipient has coached countless teams and organised a host of tournaments and competitions, whilst also coaching and administering the Rotorua WBC team since its inception.
The recipient’s involvement is not limited to Rotorua teams and events. For the last five years the Rotorua Basketball Association has hosted the National Maori Basketball Championship – this year there were 192 teams involved. She also oversees the selection and organisation of players that attend the annual Australian Country Cup in Albury-Wodonga each January on the Koru Tour.
Sue has filled the role of Player Development Officer for BBNZ for a number of years, organising national camps and data-basing players whilst also coaching the NZ U16 Girls Team.
The recipient has taken great delight in seeing all five daughters succeed in the game, have each played for the Rotorua Lady Geysers in the WBC.
Many young players from Rotorua have been assisted in gaining scholarships to the States, including daughter Pareunuora, who has just completed her freshman year at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
The recipient takes the most satisfaction from “just seeing kids getting involved and enjoying the game”.