HORSHAM referee Matthew McLoughlin officiated last week at the U20 Ivor Burge Championships in Gosford.
His busy week of refereeing was capped off perfectly after being chosen as Crew Chief for the women’s gold medal match, meaning he was the lead referee throughout the game.
“The week was amazing,” he said.
“It was an honour and a bit unexpected to be chosen for the gold medal match. I didn’t go with any expectations, I just wanted to go and learn new things and enjoy myself. I was really honoured to be awarded that game to end the week.
“It was a really good game and at a pretty high intensity for most of the game. It was Victoria playing against Queensland, with Victoria winning.”
It is the second year in a row McLoughlin has been chosen as Crew Chief for a gold medal match at a national championships. He refereed the gold medal men’s match at last year’s under 18 national championships in Townsville.
McLoughlin said taking his game to the under-20 nationals, the highest quality under-age basketball tournament in the country, took his refereeing to another level.
“Over the course of the week I definitely improved my game and have certainly learnt a lot more about refereeing,” he said.
“The last two games I did were probably the best two I refereed for the week. I had a lot of fun and it certainly required me to step up and referee at that next level.”
While McLoughlin was away refereeing, he was also given an award at the Wimmera Regional Sports Assembly's Sport Star of the Year awards. McLoughlin was awarded Official of the Year for his work across the past year.
“It’s been fantastic to be recognised for my achievements as an official in the last 12 months in Horsham,” McLoughlin said.
“Officiating is a team sport in basketball too and there are a lot of people around me who have played a role in my development, and I am really grateful to those. It’s been great.”