Making the move up the Hume Highway from Melbourne in 1988, Adrian Moy came to a city where basketball was thriving – the Cannons were still the hottest ticket in town, the AIS Arena was still called The Palace and NATEX was the home of hoops.
Finding his way to Rats, Adrian played his first season in Under 18s under the tutelage of Bill Horsfall, while also getting a taste of some senior games on Monday nights.
Graduating from junior ranks in 1989, Adrian entered the realm of senior Rats men’s basketball at a time where names like Keith da Silva, Milton Valentine, Craig McPherson and Ross Crossman were prominent. These seasoned players and coaches provided the perfect environment for Adrian as a player, one that loved to learn, work extremely hard at training and embrace every competitive opportunity that was presented, including where this involved scrimmaging against players from the Cannons and Gunners programs.
Over more than 15 years as a player, Adrian was a constant across Div 1 and 2 teams, including a memorable Div 2 championship in 1998 coached by John Spooner.
Adrian supported the club in a number of ways away from the court, being a junior coach, committee member for ten years through to 2001 and an eight year stint as the club’s coaching director. Supporting players to learn fundamentals and then implement these in a game situation is a highlight, Adrian remembering with particular fondness those times when he was able to step on court alongside juniors he had previously coached.
When Adrian was made a Life Member of the club in 2008 he did it alongside a few of the faces – da Silva, Valentine and Crossman, that had helped shaped his own basketball journey when he first stepped into seniors in 1989.
Over 10 years of service.
Rats President 1994 – 1997.
Division 1 player 1991 – 1995.
Coach Women’s program 1991 – 1999 and 2005 – 2007.
17 years of continuous service.
Administrator in several roles over 15 years including President from 1997-1999 and Treasurer from 1986-1988.
Coach for over 15 years from 1984 and player from 1982 – 2000, including three division 2 premierships.
When Keith Da Silva moved to Canberra in 1979 to take up employment at the Australian Bureau of Statistics he needed not look far to find a basketball team, with Stats Rats dominating both the ABS computer room and the capital’s courts.
Keith started his Rats career in Division 5, sharing Best Player honours in his first season, before quickly progressing through the playing ranks to Div 1. He played three seasons in Div 1, later to add three consecutive Div 2 premierships to his resume.
Beyond his impressive playing feats, Keith was a committee member and was instrumental in the club’s early development as a coach and selector. He coached both men’s and women’s Rats teams before moving to junior coaching roles from 2000.
After a brief stint away from the club, he returned to Rats ranks, leading various junior teams to success, including an U12 boys premiership in 2012 and runners up in 2019.
Keith was one of seven inaugural Life Members of our club recognised in 2008, inducted alongside Milton Valentine with whom he shared that best player honour in Rats Div 5 almost 30 years prior.
Coming to the Stats Rats in 1978, Milton Valentine wasted no time in demonstrating his on court abilities, initially with Division 8 where he was named Best Player, an award shared with Keith Da Silva in the ‘79 Div 5 team.
As the club grew, fielding more teams in more divisions, Milton’s abilities allowed him to progress up in grades, being part of the Rats inaugural Div 1 Championship team in 1981.
Off court, Milton’s contribution was immense. He was a coach for 28 years at junior and senior level, including the first junior Rats girl’s team, while also coaching at representative level in numerous junior programs. He coached over 40 Rats teams over this period.
Milton joined the Rats Board in 1979, initially as secretary from 1979-1983, before filling other roles through until 1994. Among countless other achievements, while on the Board he helped draft the club’s very first constitution and organised multiple overseas tours. He returned to the Board as President in 2005.
Made a Life Member in 2008, Milton Valentine passed away on 14 March 2010.
In the club’s very early days the “Rats Rag” provided not only light relief, team updates and quality banter, but it proved a valuable recruitment tool.
And so it was when a 19 year old Ross Crossman decided he’d attend Rats trials at Belconnen High, being selected in 12th Division.
So began a relationship with the club that has spanned more than 40 years as a player, administrator, coach and parent.
Ross played until age 34, including one highlight Div 1 game, while also commencing a coaching career in 1980 that extended more than 20 seasons. Additionally he contributed behind the scenes from 1982, filling every Board role at some stage except Treasurer.
The Crossman name is part of the fabric of the Ginninderra Rats, with three Crossman children furthering this tradition in club colours.
Ginninderra Rats has a proud history of women’s participation, the first women’s team taking to the court in the club’s second season from July 1977.
Sue Valentine was among the early trailblazers for women’s participation in the club, both on court and away from it. She was a quality player, part of the all-conquering Division 7 Championship team in 1980 – this team allowed the opposition to score more than 20 points on only a single occasion, Sue averaging 5 points per game across the season.
Over 15 years Sue was a player, coach across a variety of Rats junior teams and was Secretary to the Board for five years.
Her passion and involvement in the sport extended beyond Rats, being a Board member of Basketball ACT and managing several representative programs.
Following her (much taller) brothers to basketball Kelly joined the club at the age of nine, progressing through the Rats ranks to senior level.
Over 20 years on court as a player, it was on the sideline where she also made such a significant contribution.
At the age of 13 Kelly took her first steps in her coaching journey with the Under 10 girls. This was followed by many further coaching roles, including time as an assistant to various club coaches, with all bar one season coaching in the girl’s program.
The site of Kelly patrolling the sidelines has been synonymous with Rats coaching, whiteboard and marker ever at the ready, crouching to watch the play unfold and provide that next piece of advice or support to the playing group or an individual.
In 2020 Kelly marked her 21st year as a Rats coach – still patrolling the sideline, running plays, keeping refs on their toes, encouraging and providing sage advice to the young girls under her charge.
With her eldest son joining the club in Under 12s, it was the opportunities for personal growth and friendship that attracted Maree Winmill to volunteer with the Ginninderra Rats in 2006.
Joining the club’s Executive at a time of significant growth, particularly in juniors, Maree was a driving force in Rats Basketball over several years, putting in place many structures and practices that continue to serve our club so well.
Reforms to the constitution and child safety processes sat alongside more colourful projects like logo revision, new uniform design and the club’s 30th anniversary celebrations in which Maree was so heavily involved.
She was Club President from 2009-2011, critically helping Rats to secure and transition the bulk of training to a single new facility at Belconnen High School.
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With three children that were all to take the court in club colours, Judy Sykes first encountered the Ginninderra Rats when eldest child, Joanna, stated playing juniors in 1996. Like any parent, this initial role was supporting and encouraging her children to participant, enjoy and develop through the sport.
It was Jo’s progression to seniors ten years later that was a catalyst for Judy’s role within the club to change significantly. At the encouragement of Stuart Whitten, who was then Prem 2 Women’s Coach, Judy made a leap into team administration of the Premier Women’s program. This quickly grew to include broader coordination of what was an active women’s senior social program, the club typically fielding at least three teams each season in the social grades.
At a time when registration was largely a manual process with cash transactions and regular banking, the “job” of a manager or registrar was immense – dealing with uniforms, filling game-day vacancies, duty rosters and all the normal game-day running around. Judy filled any gaps needed to help the senior women’s program thrive, a commitment that extended into other areas of the club including various fundraising initiatives and uniforms.
For 14 years and 28 seasons, Judy Sykes contributed to Rats Basketball. Her tireless support helped countless young girls progress through the club and, in many cases, Judy has been able to see the children of these players become second generation Rats.
Judy Sykes was made a Life Member in 2012.
Basketball comes to everyone in different ways and at different times. For Stuart Whitten the basketball bug was caught in Switzerland while on student exchange, contracted from Swiss students returning from the US.
Basketball stayed with Stuart during his university days and when moving to Canberra in 1994 as a graduate recruit to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there was only one club which seemed logical for him to join. First suiting up for Rats in 1994 Stuart played for the Club in all but three of the next 26 years.
In only his second season, a coach shortage saw him stick up his hand and take the reins of a lower grade Under 16 boys team. Within a few short years he was not only playing, coaching and refereeing, but also on the then Rats junior committee before further branching to Seniors Coordinator in the early 2000’s and then Club President from 2005-2009. In his role as President he oversaw the Club’s 30th anniversary celebrations in 2007 and initiated the Rats Life Member process to recognise those before him who had helped take Rats from being a small group of ABS workmates to being a successful and long-standing community club.
Starting a family and and greater work demands only temporarily pulled Stuart’s attentions away from Rats, his willingness to plug coaching holes continuing, including stints as Premier 2 women’s coach and two seasons leading the Prem 1 men. In 2012, while Senior Men’s Coordinator, Stuart was called oversees for a six-month work sabbatical, finally providing him a well-earned break from all things Rats!
After returning to Australia, Stuart kept involved in social basketball but as his children started enlisting in the Rats ranks from 2016 he again became formally involved, coaching boys teams and creating a successful satellite regional Rats program in partnership with Sutton Primary School.
Made a Life Member in 2012, Stuart’s passion for basketball and the Club remains, always enjoying giving kids the opportunity to try the game and help them develop the skills they ultimately need to succeed.
An AIS scholarship brought Linda Muir (nee Smith) to Canberra in 1984. In those days, scholarship holders also played with local clubs, Linda initially lining up for Croatia Telegs in the midweek Premier competition at NATEX. At her scholarship’s conclusion, Linda was recruited by the Canberra Capitals to provide WNBL and international experience in their inaugural WNBL season (1986). She played a total 10 years in the WNBL (209 games), was Capitals captain for four seasons and maintained a strong off-court presence in local basketball development and media, including having her own radio show on 2SSSFM.
Through her WNBL career Linda was a consistent presence in the local Premier competition. As luck would have it, the demise of Telegs, and later Wanniassa Eveready, saw Linda link up with a third local club, Ginninderra Rats. And so began an association that has spanned more than three decades as a player, coach and administrator.
When the eldest of her three sons started Rats Under 12s in 2007 Linda was soon recruited to coach. She quickly assumed extended roles, progressing to age coaching coordinator, Boys Coaching Director and later, Club Coaching Director. A regular struggle to find volunteer coaches often saw Linda stepping in to coach multiple teams each season, at one time coaching four junior boys teams and clocking up countless kilometres each weekend getting to games north and south. Her coaching resume was further enhanced, joining with former Australian and Canberra Cannons Coach Barry Barnes to help drive the ACT Under 12 Boys program, coaching across several years.
Linda showed an early interest in sports governance, appointed to the Capitals board when the Cannons controlled the team licence for a period. This led to further board roles, including with Rats, joining as President in 2012. With only a minor break, Linda has been a consistent presence on the Board for a decade, including a second stint as President from 2015 to the current day. She was central to the establishment of an Annual Awards event and as President, her commitment to gender equity, participation and inclusion has been a feature and a driving force in shaping the Club’s strong values.
Linda was made a Life Member of the Ginninderra Rats Basketball Club in 2016.
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