200 male and female athletes will represent Victoria Country at the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup (ACJBC) and Southern Cross Basketball Challenge in the coming weeks.
The “Country Cup” conducted in Albury Wodonga and in its 32nd year, will have 12 Vic Country Teams competing across the Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18 age groups against teams from NSW Country, SA Country, WA Country, Tasmania and New Zealand.
The “Challenge” event will be held at the State Basketball Centre in Wantirna South during January. Vic Country will be represented by 8 teams across the Under 14 and Under 15 age groups and will compete against Vic Metro, SA Metro, SA Country, NSW, ACT, WA metro and WA Country.
An important part of the events will also include Referee development and Vic Country will have 27 young Referees and 11 Referee Educators at the events
“36 Country Basketball associations will be represented by athletes at the events, which is a sensational endorsement of the work completed by local volunteers across Regional Victoria.” BVC Manager, David Huxtable commented.
It is not only the larger associations that are represented either, with some of the very smallest having athletes selected.
“Glancing through the list of athletes associations, it is recognised that some great work is occurring across the State and that the BVC programs are open to all”. David continued.
Country associations are also developing coaches with 20 associations providing Coaches and Team Staff across the events.
“The coaching group is still male dominated and BVC is working in the Coach Development area to change this.” David said. “8 out of the 24 coaches attending the Country Cup are female, with only 1 female out of 16 coaches attending the Southern Cross event.
Basketball Victoria Country has a specific Female Coach Development Project that commenced in 2017, with the aim to increase female coaches at all levels of the sport.
The final week of the 2017 Basketball Victoria Country year saw all 200 athletes and 40 coaches attend camps in Shepparton in preparation for the events.
“The Greater Shepparton Basketball Association and the City Council support basketball, not just locally but by being the hosts of elite camps such as this.” David continued. “However, the aging infrastructure and lack of courts will mean that BVC will need to consider moving camps to other areas of the State in future years.”
BVC is encouraging all levels of government to look at funding a redevelopment of the Basketball Stadium in Shepparton, to assist in the growth of local basketball and give the capability to regularly host events which drive the Sports Tourism dollar and have shown to have a great economic benefit to the Region.
“BV High Performance Coach – Country, Justin Schueller, has been working with Vic Country Athletes and coaches for 4 years now to develop the Vic Country style of play.” Craig Hockley, BVC Participation Coordinator said. “At the Shepparton camps it was evident that the coaches and athletes are now working well within that system.”
Craig has the job of ensuring that all matters pertaining to the Vic Country attendance at the Cup and Challenge are ready and this includes uniforms, accommodation, catering and ground transport for the teams.
“The Cup is a weeklong event and it is important that we have quality people to assist,” Craig said.
This is again where BVC come to associations for assistance and the Country Cup will again be led by Head of Boys camp, Kevin McLaren from Warragul BA and Head of Girls camp, Wendy Campbell from the Traralgon BA.
Head Manager at the Challenge at Wantirna will be Kira Ryan from the Hamilton Basketball Association.
Volunteers make a valuable contribution to society in both economic and social terms. Volunteers provide services which would otherwise have to be paid for or left undone, allowing BVC to allocate our limited finances elsewhere. The value of the work contributed by volunteers to non-profit institutions in Australia is estimated to be $14.6 billion annually.
BVC is indebted to the work of volunteers across Regional Victoria for providing opportunities for local athletes, coaches, Referees and administrators.