Concerns have been raised about the future of basketball in Stawell with little to no action being taken about the defunct status of the Stawell Wildcats Basketball Association.
The Wildcats could not form a committee at their last annual general meeting in August last year, forcing the club to disband.
With a new Country Basketball League season fast approaching and still no committee, coaches or players to help reform the club, former Wildcats basketballer Matt Bourke said he is worried about the future of basketball in Stawell.
“It takes away a massive pathway for developing players,” he said.
“Last year we had players selected for under 21 and under 18 squads in Ballarat but without the pathway in Stawell now they can’t put their name out like they used to. Or they are forced to go to Ararat or Horsham.
“It is a big loss for Stawell and a big loss for those kids.”
Bourke said he had planned on attempting to reform the Wildcats for the 2018-19 season but a lack of personnel has made it difficult.
“My plan was to try and put the feelers out for people to join the committee and get things going for this season,” he said.
“Given the time of year and how close the next season is it doesn’t look viable to get up and going for this season anymore. Maybe next year we can get it back.”
Currently, the only basketball options for people in Stawell is the social competitions run at the Stawell Aquatic and Sport Centre.
Open age mens and womens, mixed under 17 and under 13 and ladies day basketball are the only basketball competitions currently run in Stawell.
Bourke said he is confident basketball in the town will live on through this competitions but said the Wildcats is crucial for developing young talent.
“There will always be basketball in Stawell but from a development perspective it would suffer a bit,” he said.
“If we can’t get the Wildcats up and going within the next two years I hold real concerns for the next generation who won’t have had that developmental experience.”
Bourke said there is a raft of requirements needed for the Wildcats to get going again.
“You need your basic committee roles, a coach, players and sponsors,” he said.
“Essentially we just need volunteers to put their hand up and help wherever they can.”
Bourke said a merger between Ararat and Stawell is also a potential option.