Lorelle Jackson with one of the West End basketball teams she coached in a life committed to the sport in Ipswich.
Lorelle Jackson with one of the West End basketball teams she coached in a life committed to the sport in Ipswich.

Locals mourn basketball pioneer

FOR as long as there has been basketball in Ipswich, Lorelle Jackson has been heavily involved.

Jackson died on January 24, 2011, aged 63, but the work she did for Ipswich basketball ensures her legacy will remain for many generations to come.

Jackson's sporting career began as a netballer and she was the first Ipswich primary school student selected for Queensland, competing at national titles in Tasmania and Brisbane.

Her time with Ipswich Basketball began as a player in the inaugural Ipswich team in 1962. She was also involved in the first meeting to form an association in 1961.

Jackson then played, coached and was involved in a number of committees in the association from 1962 until 1986.

In 1972 she became chairperson of the bingo committee, set up specifically for supporting Ipswich junior basketball, remaining there until 1986.

This proved to be an important fund-raising initiative and helped progress juniors from local competition through to state and national championships.

She also assisted with further fund-raising committees to help the association build its own stadium in 1976 and compete in the first state-wide basketball competition in 1985.

Jackson and her husband Philip assisted with the building of the stadium at Bundamba.

“The recent flooding at that stadium would have been a major blow to Lorelle, as it has been to Philip,” son Robert Jackson said.

It was the dedication of the likes of Jackson in playing, coaching, fund-raising and administration that ensured Ipswich was an impressive force in Queensland basketball.

The Jacksons regularly billeted visiting basketballers to Ipswich for extended periods, forging lifelong friendships.

Many who did not know the integral role Jackson played establishing basketball in Ipswich would have known her as the Ipswich Basketball Stadium canteen convenor, a vital role she filled for 25 years.

Lorelle and Philip were made life members of Ipswich Basketball in 1995 and continued to watch junior and senior games long after their retirement.

She is already missed by many past and present Ipswich members and is survived by husband Philip, sons David, Robert and Peter, all of whom represented Ipswich and South Queensland at basketball, and her seven grandchildren.



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