The pandemic may have cut short the McDonald’s Winter Junior Comp but now is the time to reflect on the surging interest in basketball.
The club competition has long been the pinnacle for junior players in this region and participation rocketed from 735 kids in 2016, to 1042 in 2019 and this year up to a whopping 1564.
Reducing fees by up to $100 per child certainly had a dramatic effect on participation and under our new financial structure we hope to reduce it even more in the future.
With this year’s comp our aim is to get the finals played at some stage, even if we are unable to play any of the round games that we lost.
Female participation in basketball is in the spotlight leading into the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup being held in Sydney.
Basketball NSW has adopted the “I’m a Girl I Can Do Anything” program and also the “Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered” program to promote girls’ participation in basketball.
Newcastle recently hosted some of the pilots for these programs until we were forced to close the doors on August 5.
Our participation rate for girls is higher than the national average for under-12s and under-14s, but slips slightly below for under-16s and under-18s.
Under-12 – 43% girls
Under-14 – 37% girls
Under-16 – 23% girls
Under-18 – 25% girls
Our commitment to promoting girls in basketball was highlighted by winning the George Thompson Memorial Award for the Best Female Development Program in NSW in 2019.
Referees boss Dave Sams has been using the lockdown to great effect by educating and up-skilling our emerging whistle-blowers.
Basketball NSW have been great in providing some informative online courses and initiatives to keep our refs ahead of the game and ready to return once the doors are open.
President Kristi Faber welcomed the recent appointment of Erica James to the Board of Directors of Newcastle Basketball.
Erica brings a wealth of playing and coaching experience to the Board, along with her background as a professor of public health at the University of Newcastle and her expertise as a director on other boards.
Finally a huge thanks to Lake Macquarie City Council for their dedication to our new $25 million stadium at Hillsborough. Hopefully all concerns and conditions have been addressed and the Hunter and Central Coast Regional Planning Panel will approve the development application very soon.