Richard Holmes honoured for his hoop contributions
There's a great deal of Valley pride in the contributions of basketball's Dick Holmes.
In between pre-season ADHS-RCI junior and senior girls basketball games Sept 18 at Arnprior District High School, Holmes was presented with a plaque honouring his more than 35 years of involvement in the game.
The exhibition games have been named the Dick Holmes Tribute Challenge in his honour and will be played each year prior to the start of the regular season. ADHS, the Renfrew Association of Approved Basketball Offi cials, the L'il Warriors and the Valley Pride Basketball Club got together to bestow the honour on Holmes, who has played a key role in the local youth basketball scene since 1972.
Holmes was touched by the outpouring of affection, which included loud applause from the crowd and the senior and junior players from both ADHS and RCI.
"It's been a blast. I've enjoyed it all," he said.
"I see a lot of faces I've coached and refereed," he said, looking around at the teams and in the crowd.
During his acceptance speech he doled out his trademark Lifesavers to each team. In typical refereeing fashion, so not to show bias, he took off his red ADHS-coloured shirt partway through his speech to show he was wearing blue, RCI's colours, underneath.
While he has a soft spot for the teams from ADHS, being a coach there for so long, he said he always admired the Renfrew players' grit and toughness.
In presenting the Tribute Challenge plaque, ADHS counsellor and former athletic director Phil Moore told the crowd that Holmes is not only a long-time basketball coach he has been a referee for at least 35 years.
The plaque is given "in appreciation of Richard Holmes for his outstanding contributions to basketball as a coach, a club and program builder, an executive member of the referee association, a referee, and most of all a tireless promoter of the sport in our local area," Moore read.
"So many children have been given the opportunity to practice, develop and play because of your efforts," the plaque continues.
"For that we are truly thankful for all that you have done!" The plaque notes that Holmes was ADHS basketball coach from 1972 to 1998, gave Grade 7-8 girls basketball clinics from 1979 to 1990, helped found the L'il Warriors basketball program in 1996, launched the Valley Pride basketball club in 2004 and refereed from 1974 to 2014.
It was noted that both the L'il Warriors and Valley Pride clubs are in great shape, largely due to Holmes' efforts.