Referee of the month, Andrew James. Photo submitted
Referee of the month, Andrew James. Photo submitted

Andrew bounces back

How do you turn a negative into a positive?

Just ask Andrew James, the Coopers Surf Centres, Coffs Harbour Basketball referee of the month for March.

Last year, at the CHBA presentation night, Andrew received the Player's Player award for the U-16 Division 2 men, however when the 2006 U-18 rep team was chosen, Andrew missed the final cut.

After getting over his disappointment Andrew decided to devote this year to refereeing and have another crack at the representative team in 2007.

Already his decision to focus on officiating has started to pay dividends.

Sandra Mottram, Northern Junior League referee's supervisor quickly recruited Andrew to whistle some NJL games this season and has been so impressed with what she saw, that she has already signed him up as one of the Coffs Harbour referees for the Country Championship weekend in June.

Andrew has taken to refereeing like a 'duck to water' after only commencing his whistling career in 2005.

However, a long background of playing going back to the McDonald's Primary School competition has put him off to a flying start.

While initially nervous at being called up to blow some representative games, Andrew believes that in many ways it is easier than Coffs local competition games.

"The players are more skilful, they know the rules and the whole game is more organised with controlled offences and defences," he said.

"This makes it much more predictable to know where to be and what to look for."

Andrew is also pleased that he has something to do with his time as he spends most afternoons at Sportz Central either playing, training or waiting for his brother who is also a 'gym rat'.

"Another positive about refereeing is that I am earning about the same amount of money as my friends who all have part time jobs, but I know I am having much more fun at work than they are," Andrew said after receiving his award.

The Coopers Surf Centres Referee of the month receives a $30 Coopers Voucher to spend at any of their three stores, in recognition of their contribution to Coffs Harbour Basketball.

If you are over 11 years old and are interested in becoming a Coffs Harbour Basketball referee, give your name and contact details to the competition supervisor on the day/night your play or ring the office on Ph 6651 1452 and leave your details.

The next referee's school will be held during the next school holidays.

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