THE popularity and incredible growth of Victorian basketball has been recognised via yesterday’s State Budget with the announcement of significant investment by the Victorian Government.
As expressed within the 2019 Victorian Budget Papers, the Victorian Government has budgeted $145.8 million into basketball stadia infrastructure and high performance development to position Victoria as “the basketball capital of Australia”.
Basketball Victoria CEO Nick Honey said this year’s Victorian Budget has put basketball in the spotlight as a growing inclusive sport for both females and males, as well as a leading contributor within the Victorian sports community.
“Daniel Andrews and the Victorian Labor Government have made the single largest investment into Victorian basketball within this budget and it will cement our sport as a leader within the entire Australian sporting landscape,” Honey said. “As we approach 429,000 participants across Victoria, the need for newly constructed and redeveloped basketball infrastructure has never been higher.”
With $82 million budgeted for the expansion of the State Basketball Centre at the heart of the Victorian Government’s basketball strategy, the Wantirna South-based facility will become an 18-court stadium and cater to all levels of basketball from juniors all the way through to the NBL and WNBL.
“The State Basketball Centre expansion will increase capacity and decrease court-waiting times throughout the region,” Honey said. “Everyone from grassroot junior participants at the Knox Basketball Association all the way up to our Victorian elite players and two professional franchises in the South East Melbourne Phoenix NBL team and the Melbourne Boomers WNBL team are set to benefit from the expansion.
“$20 million has also been pledged by the Knox City Council to make the State Basketball Centre the epicentre of Victoria’s basketball network and benefit the local basketball community.”
To aid in growing Victorian basketball at all levels, the Victorian Government has also budgeted $5m into the creation of a network of Basketball Victoria-operated High Performance Hubs throughout metropolitan, suburban and regional areas.
“The Andrews Labor Government’s $5 million investment into our High Performance Basketball Hubs, as confirmed in the Victorian State Budget announcement, is a momentous outcome for Victorian basketball community,” Honey said.
“The establishment of these new basketball hubs around the state will provide young players with elite basketball training programs within their local regions, whether in suburban Melbourne or regional Victoria.
“This will allow our future stars to continue to train at the highest level in their area with a clear pathway towards playing elite level basketball in Australia or in the WNBA, NBA or other international leagues.”
Developments also announced and funded within the 2019 Victorian State Budget include the Ballarat Sports and Entertainment Centre ($5.14m), Ballarat – Phoenix College ($11.7m), Montmorency Secondary College, with Eltham Basketball Association ($16m), St Helena Secondary College ($13m), Cameron Reserve – Maffra ($4m) and Diamond Valley Stadium ($8m).
For further information on the Victorian State Budget, click here