The 2019 Australian Under-14 Club Championships will return to being hosted together next year with Basketball Ballarat to host the Boys and Girls competitions concurrently between 30 September – 5 October.
Ballarat Basketball last hosted the Under-18 Championships and Kevin Coombs Cup in 2015 and also hosted the Under-14 Girls Club Championships in 2013 but next year will see them run the Under-14 Boys for the first time ever.
The Australian Under-14 Club Championships provide the only opportunity to athletes to represent their clubs at a national level, teams must qualify through their respective state championships in order to gain entry to the prestigious event.
The tournament gives the nation’s budding stars an introduction to representative competition in the first step within Basketball Australia’s elite junior program.
Basketball Ballarat CEO Peter Eddy expressed his delight in Ballarat being awarded the prestigious event and thanked Basketball Australia for the opportunity.
“Ballarat is very proud to once again have a nationally competitive venue to showcase such events,” Mr Eddy said.
“Thankyou to Minister Pulford and the Government for their ongoing funding commitment to regional indoor community sport and for supporting high quality events that highlight sport and also allow for other community events suited to the new $24M Ballarat Sports and Events Centre.
“Basketball has long been a major contributor to the economic fabric of the city and attracts more national and state events to Ballarat than any other sport.
“Our record is highly regarded by those businesses in Ballarat that rely on visitor bed nights and multi day stays.”
Build it and they will come!
Ballarat secures the most sought after national basketball event – the U14s boys and girls championships AND the national coaches conference. 4000 people here in Sept 2019. The first major event for the new @BallaratSEC 🏀🏀🏀 #springst pic.twitter.com/mXwIsyc91c
— Jaala Pulford MP (@JaalaPulford) August 31, 2018
According to Mr. Eddy, the new centre will bring a new era of local basketball growth and major multi-sport events to Ballarat in the coming years with the association now operating 12 courts in close proximity to host major events.
The last Australian junior championship hosted in Ballarat was independently valued at delivering $1.669M in economic benefit to the region and delivered over 17,000 bed nights to the city.
At last year’s tournament, Ballarat Rush claimed the Girls Shield Division gold medal and they will be hoping for more success in front of home fans in 2019 while the local boys’ team, Ballarat Miners, will make their debut in the tournament.
“We’re very excited to have the Under-14 Club Championships back as a combined event in what will certainly be an amazing new facility,” said Basketball Australia General Manager Competitions Paul Maley.
“We always have fantastic support from the community when we have these tournaments hosted regionally and Basketball Ballarat has a great track record running previous Championships and, with a massive support base, it will be another exciting action-packed week.”
Basketball Victoria CEO Nick Honey congratulated Basketball Ballarat who are set to host their biggest ever Australian Junior Championship following an expansion to the Ballarat Sports and Events Centre.
“Thank you to the Victorian Government for the substantial 9$M commitment it has made to the establishment of a new $24M, eight court sports centre,” Honey said.
“This funding combined with $5M from Ballarat City Council and $10M from the Federal Government has allowed Ballarat to re-enter the major events space with a very competitive new venue.”
Running during the Under-14 Club Championships, Ballarat will also host a National Coaches Conference that will be open to all levels of coaches as well as featuring sessions on non-sport topics.
“The annual Coaches Conference is an important part of our coach development framework and we are pleased to hold the 2019 event in such a traditionally strong basketball region and city,” said Peter Lonergan, Basketball Australia Head of High Performance Coach Development.
2019 Australian Under-14 Club Championships:
September 30-October 5
Ballarat Sports and Events Centre