THE Latrobe Valley Authority is partnering with Basketball Victoria to undertake a project to develop a Strategic Plan for the sustainable presence and growth of an elite basketball pathway in Gippsland.
The development of the Strategic Plan will consider the existing structure and program that is delivered by the Latrobe Energy organisation and consider a future organisational and governance structure, financial sustainability, community and stakeholder engagement and critical success factors for on court success.
Across Latrobe City Council, Baw Baw Shire Council and Wellington Shire Council there are 12 Basketball Victoria affiliated basketball associations, with approximately 7,000 registered weekly participants. Basketball is one of the highest participation sports in the region.
It is an exciting time for basketball, with the $20 million investment by the Victorian State Government and Latrobe City Council into the re-development of the Traralgon Sports Stadium, and further support from the Victorian Government for the establishment of that Stadium to host one of ten high performance basketball hubs around the State, it is critical that a sustainable and successful pathway program be established for Gippsland basketball.
Additionally, Latrobe Valley has also been successful in attracting the NBL Blitz in 2017, hosting the Triple Crown event in 2018 between the Melbourne Boomers and Bendigo Spirit, as well as the WNBL game in 2019 between Southside Flyers and Bendigo Spirit, also catering for numerous other community and basketball programs.
Never in the regions history has such significant resources been provided for the sport, creating such a unique opportunity for basketball participants who deserve a sustainable pathway to participate at the elite level.
Basketball Victoria have appointed GippSport to undertake this important planning project as they are the recognised industry leaders for sport in Gippsland. Michelle Harris, Senior Sports Consultant will be leading the project and she has worked extensively across Gippsland and more specifically in Basketball for many years.
Community consultation for this project will commence over the coming weeks and will be managed by a steering group who represent the various organisations leading basketball in the region.
Local Basketball Olympian Belinda Snell said “This is a great initiative by the Latrobe Valley Authority and Basketball Victoria to support and provide a clear pathway for Gippsland basketballers to follow their dreams of representing Australia and playing in the WNBL, NBL, WNBA or NBA. To have a State Basketball Hub in Gippsland is exciting and creates further opportunities for basketballers in the region to be identified. With everyone working together and supporting the Gippsland pathway program it will help to provide a sustainable elite pathway for future talented Gippsland basketballers”