Basketball Victoria is proud to have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indigenous Basketball Australia (IBA) to work collaboratively in creating pathways and opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.
Together, IBA and Basketball Victoria will work to develop and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent both on and off the court, as well as capacity building in communities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander coaches and referees.
Through the power of basketball, IBA programs are delivered in a culturally safe environment to foster better educational outcomes; aiming to build a strong sense of cultural identity in their participants which will instil confidence, leadership skills and resilience. Their holistic program identifies and confronts key issues facing Indigenous youth in society, with a specific emphasis on wellbeing, resilience, cultural awareness and reconciliation, education, and employment.
Founder of IBA, Aussie Boomer, Olympic bronze medalist and proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian Patty Mills said, “We thank Basketball Victoria for their commitment as we aim to see more Indigenous Australians pulling on the Green and Gold for the Boomers or Opals in the not too distant future.” Mills continues, “If we can create a positive environment that allows our people to enjoy a healthy and safe life, to be accepted and participate in a society free from discrimination, then that’s the real win for our people in this life.”
Basketball Victoria CEO Nick Honey said it was important to sign the MOU and provide support to IBA in its mission going forward.
“We are excited to sign this MOU and become part of the Indigenous Basketball Australia community,” Honey said. “Indigenous Basketball Australia has given incredible opportunities to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players throughout Australia and now it’s Victoria’s turn to join in.
“Patty Mills has showcased at the Tokyo Olympic Games how empowering and important it is to have incredible Indigenous basketballers at the peak of our sport.
“We’re keen to support and to work alongside IBA, which will have amazing outcomes for the entire Victorian basketball community”.
“While Victorians were unable to compete in the first year of IBA competitions and tournaments, we’re keen to make up for lost time spent in lockdown and work in partnership with IBA across a number of programs and tournaments in 2022 and beyond.”
Due to the extended Victorian lockdowns of 2020, Victorians were unable to participate in the inaugural season of Indigenous Community Basketball League.
Further announcements about Victorian-based IBA events and tournaments will be made soon.