OPPORTUNITY will always exist in basketball.
Today, Friday 9 March, is International Women’s Day and we want to highlight the success of our sport in supporting our elite players and coaches, the sensational administrators, team managers as well as parents and families who have driven our goals.
Basketball has never held back opportunity to women and will continue to push into new spaces as well as bigger and better opportunities.
Today is a reminder of how far we’ve come and how far the sport still has to go.
Basketball has always been a leader when it comes to opportunity and equality. We didn’t wait to give girls a pathway. We made it a priority years ago when others wouldn’t have dared to create such an opportunity.
The results speak for themselves – look to our champion Opals, WNBL stars and Victorian representatives who have gone on to amazing careers.
Michele Timms, Penny Taylor, Liz Cambage, Kristi Harrower, Belinda Snell… you could rattle off names of an incredible standard who have risen through the Victorian pathway.
It starts with fledgling steps at Aussie Hoops, club domestic teams and onwards to the MUVJBL stars who take the court every Friday with the bright futures ahead of them. It is carried through these elite careers by our players, coaches and referees.
We see time and time again the incredible work of countless volunteers who toil and sacrifice their every ounce of energy for the good of the game as the game has been good to them in the past. And none of this is possible without basketball’s incredible mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and friends who raise our future stars from all walks of life. There is no sport in this country without women and basketball is no different.
Today is not the only IWD on the calendar for us. We are judged by our actions every time the lights switch on. Every time a youngster heads down to join the team. Every time we push the organisation towards a better and bolder horizon.
Basketball in Victoria has supported women in the sport since Betty Watson laid the groundwork for female representation throughout our basketball leagues and our state teams.
Just last year we commenced our Courage and Confidence program to provide leadership opportunities to women in the boardroom setting, with our beloved Betty Watson returning to tell the program members just what it took to be a successful female administrator in the 1950s and what lessons can be learned.
Basketball is a sport for everyone. That belief has guided Basketball Victoria towards expanding all possibilities.
Basketball continues to give young girls a chance to rise through the ranks, make the same state teams, take on the same international opportunities and head to the same colleges as the boys.
The pathway laid out by Basketball Victoria and other organising bodies grant young women every chance to play for their association, their own region and beyond.
We’ll continue to cultivate these opportunities, harness this potential and spread the word.
So judge us on what we achieve today, tomorrow, six months from now and every single day we’re putting together the Victorian game. Let us know where we shine and where improvements are still needed. The aim is improvement. We don’t wish to take backwards steps.
Because there’s no point in celebrating, honouring and acknowledging International Women’s Day if you don’t back it up every other day.