News

Pavilion honours our basketball stalwart

Bruce Leonard in front of the Bruce Leonard Pavilion, named in his honour yesterday. Photo JoJo Newby
Bruce Leonard in front of the Bruce Leonard Pavilion, named in his honour yesterday. Photo JoJo Newby

BRUCE Leonard said yesterday he tried to say No to having "something" named after him at the Grafton Indoor Sports Centre when the idea was years ago.

"But some d--- didn't give me a choice," he said in clear reference to basketball stalwart Craig Howe who, in his capacity as Clarence Valley Councillor, pushed for officially recognising Mr Leonard's contribution by naming the original section of the facility the Bruce Leonard Pavilion.

"I'm pretty proud of it, don't get me wrong,' said Mr Leonard who, aside from managing the facility from its opening until 2010, was instrumental in establishing junior and senior state leagues in NSW.

Grafton Basketball Association president Sandra Dahl said Mr Leonard's contribution to the sport went far beyond traditional achievements.

"If a kid could not afford to go away he'd fork out money from his own pocket," Ms Dahl said. "People would be astounded by what he's done ... many people probably think there's the old bloke with the smokes and the coffee and think no more about it."

Bruce Leonard

 President of Country Basketball in 1968, a position he held until the Country Basketball Association was changed to the Country Committee in the late 1980s.

 Instrumental with others in forming the Country Senior Men's and Women's League.

 He had a vision of a junior league in the state's north. It developed into south, west and central leagues and later was incorporated into State Junior League.

 He was a founding director of Northern Australia Junior Basketball Challenge with Queensland .

 He took basketball from the outdoor courts into the old Garden Theatre (Queen and Pound Sts) until it moved to its latest home.

 Many a North Coast and Grafton player owes their promotion to higher levels in basketball, at the Country, State and NBL/WNBL to this man

 He loves a smoke, his plants, a beer, a good yarn and will never surrender his thongs.

 Major force behind the extensions of the current stadium which is now the Grafton Sports Centre

 

This very abridged list of Mr Leonard's career was provided by Grafton Basketball Association.




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Rate hike still on cards

Mayor Richie WilliamsonPhoto Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Key rates talks coming up in next two weeks.

Oh my cod! Big catch in Mann River

Curtis Parker holds his catch of the day an Eastern Cod caught on the Mann River.

Big eastern cod landed from kayak

Bronwyn Bancroft’s Colours of Australia

Artist Bronwyn Bancroftin front of one of her works in her exhibition at the Grafton Regional Gallery Colours of Australia.

Colourful Australia opened at the Grafton Regional Gallery.

Latest deals and offers

Bronwyn Bancroft's Colours of Australia

Artist Bronwyn Bancroftin front of one of her works in her exhibition at the Grafton Regional Gallery Colours of Australia.

Artist Bronwyn Bancroft's exhibition Colours of Australia is introduced by her...

Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce tour Rockhampton sweet potato farm

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce visit a...

Men's Shed possum boxes

(back l-r) David Abrahams, Frank heppell, Warren Moss, Kevin Wtkins and (front) Darcy Knight with some of the possum boxes the Grafton Men's Shed are making for the new highway construction.

Grafton Men's Shed members have made 65 possum boxes for Eco Logical Australia to...

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest