Young athletes in Central Victoria will be one step closer to becoming the next basketball superstars, with a new high-performance basketball training hub to be established in Shepparton under a re-elected Andrews Labor Government.
Bill Heath, Labor Candidate for Shepparton and Mark Gepp, Labor Member for Northern Victoria today announced that the Shepparton hub will be one of seven around the state, giving local kids access to the best training programs close to home – with a clear pathway to playing elite level basketball in Australia or the American NBA.
Operating out of each of the hubs, a new Intensive Training Program will see a dedicated High-Performance Coach work with male and female teams for kids under 14, 15, 16 and 18.
Teams for players with disabilities will also be established, helping to discover our next great Paralympic stars.
Each team will train together every week, plus individual one-on-one weekly sessions to work on shooting and strength conditioning.
As part of the program, local kids will also have the opportunity to compete in interstate and overseas tournaments, allowing them to advance their skills and increase their exposure to national and international talent scouts.
A re-elected Labor Government will invest $5 million to establish the new training hubs, as part of a $101 million plan to grow basketball from grassroots to elite level across the state.
This includes establishing a new Australian Basketball Centre of Excellence at the Knox Regional Sports Park.
Both Basketball Australia and the NBA Global Academy – an elite training centre that provides a pathway to the American NBA league – will relocate their training facilities from Canberra to the new Centre of Excellence, which Shepparton’s new high-performance basketball training hub will feed into.
Existing basketball facilities at Knox will also be expanded to provide headquarters and training facilities for the new ninth National Basketball League (NBL) team, which will be a Melbourne team.
This will cement Victoria’s position as Australia’s home of basketball, with operations centred at Knox and supported by the high-performance basketball training hubs around the state, including Shepparton.
Quote attributable to Labor Candidate for Shepparton Bill Heath
“With this investment, a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will help kids in Shepparton and surrounds take their hoop dreams to the next level.”
Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp
“With a new high-performance basketball hub in Shepparton, our next generation of sporting stars can get the best training, close to home.”
Quote attributable to Stacey Cole, General Manager Greater Shepparton Basketball Association
“The Greater Shepparton Basketball Association is excited to be announced as the home of a new high-performance basketball hub. A high performance hub in Shepparton will allow young players access to elite basketball training programs in their local area. They will be able to train at the highest level and have clear pathways to playing at the elite level. This is fantastic news for grassroots basketball in the Shepparton and the surrounding areas.”
Quotes attributable to David Huxtable, General Manager Basketball Victoria Country
“This announcement by the Labor Government supports the already well known facts around the high level of participation in basketball throughout Country Victoria.”
“High Performance Regional Hubs will mean that athletes can now enter the highest parts of the pathway at their local level and give them access to the best training programs and coaches available. There is now a clear pathway to play elite level basketball in Australia and across the world from your local region. This initiative will also support the work completed by Shepparton Council and Shepparton Basketball in moving towards and achieving a redeveloped facility in this area.”