Without Donna Dunmore Ararat would not have had a Country Basketball League (CBL) side.
Last season was the first time they had a side in the CBL, after a 17 year hiatus due to a lack of players and the organisers of the team.
“A friend of mine and I tried to get a team into the CBL but we just couldn’t get a team together,” she said.
“Eventually we kept on trying and we finally got a team in there.”
It may seem a huge achievement to get a local side into a recognized competition across the region but that is only part of the story.
Dunmore in a way helped create the CBL side after she saw an opportunity to have a side in the league in the first place.
The Redbacks had a junior system of its own but once they left the junior system they had no where to go in Ararat.
Dunmore said that one of the main reasons of getting a CBL team in Ararat was that the kids had an option to stay in town rather than fleeing to other towns to play senior basketball.
“I saw a need there to have somewhere where our kids to go once they were finished in junior competition,” she said.
However, Dunmore hasn’t always ran the Redbacks CBL side, it was more of a step by step transition to get to where she is today.
“My first involvement with the Redbacks was with coaching,” she said.
“Then when the YMCA was running the senior and junior futsal and basketball competitions in Ararat they got me to start running the competition for them.”
In 2016 she then went from running the competition to being president of the Ararat Basketball Association (which run the basketball and fustal at the centre), a position she still holds.
“I had a fair bit to do with the girls at the YMCA so they were probably part of it and I knew a lot of the people that ran the competition and there were some people that I did play basketball with back in my day.
“So they probably came to me and knew what I was doing I suppose.”
This weekend sees the return of the Redbacks who are back in action in a double header against the Mt Gambier Lakers on Saturday and Portland Coasters on Sunday.
The Redbacks last played on 8 December 2018, when they made it three wins for the season when they defeated Warrnambool Seahawks 54-96.
Dunmore said that she is looking forward to getting back into the swings of things.
“I feel a bit lost when I haven’t got basketball happening,” she said.
“I definitely feel like getting back into it.”