Meet the Life Member – Debra Fitzsimons

Deb began playing basketball as a student at Kewdale Senior High School in 1977 when Kewdale SHS was one of our junior recruitment sources. She played for Kewdale at the old Perry Lakes Stadium as a junior under her first coach John Bluntschli who had also been a student at Kewdale and had played under coaches Stuart Mackay and Tony Ewing. She progressed to senior level and played through all grades, including A-Grade for the Redbacks in the 1980s and into the senior women’s Senior League and SBL team. In her playing career, Deb won the WABF Fairest and Best award in the SBL Senior League, the PBA Senior League MVP award in 1987 and 1988 and the PBA Senior League Most Consistent on four occasions from 1990 through to her final season in 1999.

Deb ran Junior Competitions for the PBA during the early 1980s, as part of our junior recruitment policy, prior to us establishing junior competitions in the recreation centres that we now use. Before the days of our Association having the major sponsors that we now enjoy, Deb worked tirelessly as a fundraiser for our club, running quiz nights and raffles. She coordinated the newsletter for several years (in the pre-digital era) and served on both the Senior and Junior Committees for many years. In 1986 Deb was awarded the President’s Trophy (jointly with Ian Frame), for her significant contribution to the club off the court that year.

Deb has been a PBA SBL bench official for over 28 years and has officiated 364 SBL/WSBL games. She has coordinated the PBA score bench for most of that time. In 2009, she was awarded BWA’s score bench official of the year. Deb was chosen to officiate in the SBL Grand Final games in 2001, 2008, 2014 and in PBA’s SBL winning year, 2017.

Deb is undeniably the longest active member in our Association and continues her association with the Redbacks right through to the present day as a score bench coordinator and official for the SBL and WSBL teams. She was awarded Life Membership in 1994.

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