We love celebrating organisations and people doing great things in our community. The Mark Arblaster Memorial Trust is one such entity that has been doing just that in our local basketball community. We’ve had people who have told us we need to highlight their good work.
To discover what this charitable trust is all about we have to go back 17 years. On the evening of June 9th 2004, family, friends and North Harbour Basketball lost an outstanding person and sportsman when Mark Arblaster passed away. He was only 49 years old and had just finished playing a game of basketball, the sport he loved and had a long association with.
Mark played basketball at North Harbour for more than 35 years, beginning as a school boy at Northcote College. He was a very talented all-round sportsman and represented his school at senior level in a range of other sports including 1st XV rugby, 1st XI cricket and volleyball. He led Northcote College to the Auckland Schools’ Basketball title.
Mark was Captain of the Under 20 Representative Team that gave the North Shore Basketball Association its first national title. He continued his connection with national level basketball by playing in the North Shore First Division side and later serving as assistant coach to Doc Ward's National League Team. He made a very valuable contribution to the Harbour Heat National League Team as Convenor of the Sponsorship Committee and as an Executive Board member.
Mark continued to show his outstanding versatility, playing premier cricket for the North Shore Club for many years. He also managed the Westlake Under 16 Rowing Team.
Mark is remembered on court as a strong, rebounding, good shooting left hander. Off court, as an administrator, Mark was a calm and wise decision maker with a dry and ready wit.
Whilst extremely saddened by Mark's death, the Trustees feel privileged to have established the ‘Mark Arblaster Memorial Trust’. The Trust is in honour of Mark's friendship and the contribution he made to the great game of Basketball, and for the advancement and education of the youth of North Shore in the game of basketball.
Following his sudden passing friends and family helped to establish the Mark Arblaster Memorial Trust in his honour. 17 years on the trust is still in existence and making a difference in people’s lives.
“The charitable trust was established for the advancement of education,” explains trust chair and Mark’s elder brother Rob Arblaster. “The trust fund must be applied and used exclusively by the trustees for the clear objectives that were established from the outset. For the creation of basketball training programmes aimed at youth on the North Shore. Providing financial assistance for basketball training programmes aimed at youth on the Shore. Providing financial assistance for coaching training programmes aimed at increasing the number and skill base of coaches of Shore youth basketball. Promoting basketball in schools on the Shore. Providing financial assistance to schools on the Shore for the promotion of basketball. Providing education scholarships for Shore students that show promise or expertise in basketball.”
Trustees of the Mark Arblaster Memorial Trust are Rob Arblaster (chair), Paul Duffy, David Dowsett, Paul Ogilvy and Rick Kuluz. Paul, David, Paul and Rick all played basketball with Mark – as did brother Rob.
Over the years funds have been raised through donations, golf tournaments and investments.
The tens of thousands of dollars distributed by the trust have made a difference to many organisations and individuals over the years. Examples have been contributing towards Harbour Basketball taking a team of very talented under-19 boys to the USA to be seen by coaches or scouts and to potentially be offered a scholarship to study in the States. Assisting various players in North Harbour Basketball’s Age group teams and helping to get them to a national Tournaments (transport, accommodation, gear costs etc.). Providing financial support covering other issues that may prevent players’ development in reaching their potential and supporting several North Harbour youth attending USA College basketball and educational programs. Covering some costs in running boys and girls basketball programs on the Shore.
We have included some comments from recipients of these funds (see panel on this spread) that clearly show the difference they have made to their lives and careers.
“It has been a real thrill to see the trust make a difference in people’s lives,” adds Rob Arblaster. “We lost Mark so suddenly and it hit us all big time. We can take a great deal of satisfaction in what has been achieved in his memory. He was already doing great work to support local basketball, we’ve just made sure his work lived on after his sad and untimely passing.”
For more information about the Mark Arblaster Memorial Trust contact Rob Arblaster, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 021 932 759.
Comments Acknowledgements from four recipients of funds from the Mark Arblaster Memorial Trust...
"As I reflect on my trip to the US, I am motivated to work harder in developing my body, skills and to my goal of receiving a scholarship to but I wouldn't be in the position I would be right now if it wasn't for your support."
"I’d like to thank the trust for supporting me and my basketball endeavours for the year of 2018. I was fortunate this year to captain the Westlake Boys premiere basketball team and because of the funding I received from the trust, all my basketball financial costs were met. This enabled me to not worry about the financial pressures of raising sufficient funds and allowed me to focus on my basketball trainings and development and academic studies. The fund allowed me to attend the secondary 3x3 schools’ national championships in Tauranga and also the Schick secondary school’s basketball national’s tournament in Palmerston North. I have really appreciated the support and look forward to hopefully one day supporting others as the trust has helped support me.”
"I have just finished my freshman year and just wanted to update you about how I’ve been and my journey since leaving NZ. Academically, I am pleased with my academic pathway, starting on a Business or a joint degree that has Business as the major. Basketball wise, the biggest thing I have noticed in my personal development so far is how my body has physically been adapting and becoming stronger to match the level over here. I have been working hard in the gym and on the court to make sure I can perform at the best of my ability every game. We have had nine pre season games with some being against a few top D1 schools such as Central Michigan and Loyola University; it was a great insight into the US style of play. My first official season as a fighting saint has definitely been one for the books. The biggest difference over here is the athleticism of the athletes, so I have been working hard on little things I can do in order to earn my playing time. It has also been a significant adjustment going over there and changing position. Playing a shooting guard has allowed me to see the game from a whole different perspective. Finally, I’d like to thank the Trust for your support and help in assisting me to have the opportunity to be on this journey. I am looking forward to my future years in college and also what the future holds and the experiences living in Chicago will continue to provided me.”
"At the beginning of the year I was a member of the Westlake 3x3 basketball team that came second at the Nationals. I was then named as one of two high school basketballers in the country to attend the Nike All Asia camp in Shanghai, China, where after a week of intensive drills, training and games, I was named in the final All Star team and received the ‘Best Attitude’ award out of 60 attendees. Following that camp was the Asia Pacific Team Camp held in Nanjing, China. Once again, thank you for helping me financially this year. The grant relieved my parents financially at a particularly challenging time of the year."