BASKETBALL: After organising, scheduling, and even officiating a majority of the 100-plus matches during the 49th Annual Jacaranda Hotel Basketball Carnival it has been a mammoth effort from Grafton Vikings Basketball president Rob Blinman, Grafton Sports Centre manager Georgina McArthur and a troupe of dedicated volunteers.
For the first time in almost 50 years of the annual event matches spilled over to Friday evening as the association was stretched by a large number of teams entered.
Blinman admitted while it was adding an extra afternoon to the carnival, the games played on the Friday evening acted as a good warm-up for the main day's competition and it could extend further for next year's half-century anniversary.
"It was actually pretty good having games the night before," he said. "There were a few dedicated locals who came out and watched it. It was a bit of a warm up and prelude to the weekend's action.
"Attendance over the weekend was pretty good as well. Since we changed the format a couple of years ago all the games are held at the stadium which means all the teams stick around at the stadium. You find a lot more people staying there and watching more games and supporting other teams from their club. It boosts the atmosphere."
Blinman said a few teams were rewarded for their long-standing support of the carnival with finals berths especially the Entertainers side which underwent a facelift for this year's event.
"Entertainers have been coming to the Jaca Carnival for well over 25 years now so it was good to see them make the finals," Blinman said. "It has been a bit of a changing of the guard for the side this year but it was good to see the old guard in the stands cheering them on."
Blinman was very impressed with the competitive nature of all finals with none being more than three points at the final siren.