A NEW basketball program in Horsham will seek to create a pathway for Indigenous children aged between 8-12.
Basketball Victoria has contributed $1500 to the Horsham Amateur Basketball Association to assist it in offering a program for Indigenous children.
The association has partnered up with the Wimmera Regional Sports Assembly as well as Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative, the latter of which will match Basketball Victoria’s grant.
The basketball association’s competition manager and assembly’s project co-ordinator Rebecca McIntyre said the plan was to run a four-week training program for Indigenous children.
“I spoke to Goolum Goolum in regards to what we could do in our area and so we partnered up with them,” she said. “The association is trying to be as inclusive and welcoming to everybody.
“We have done some things in that space really well in the past. Considering we don’t have many Indigenous players in our association, I thought the skill gap would probably be an area to focus on.”
The program will likely consist of a one-hour training session each week.
Goolum Goolum’s manager of health and well-being programs Dean O’Loughlin said the co-operative supported any initiative that encouraged people to be active.
“It’s part of our health and well-being focus that we want children to be doing physical activity. We wanted to be part of a good introduction for basketball because we can see there is a gap there,” he said.
Mr O’Loughlin said historically Indigenous representation in basketball had been less than in other sports, such as football and cricket.
“We don’t have a lot of depth in other sports so we want to make a push for that. When Rebecca came to us and told us the plan we jumped at it,” he said.
“We see it as a first step and hopefully a few children will have a bit of talent and we can support their connection at the next level in the association.”
The exact details of the program are yet to be confirmed, but there could be a chance to form a Goolum Goolum basketball team down the track.
“A team would be a great dream. I know at Dimboola they have some good basketball programs that work really well but in Horsham we don’t have that link yet,” Mr O’Loughlin said.
Ms McIntyre said: “We will be able to offer some scholarships to invite some players into the association’s summer program free of charge.
“We will lock in some details in the next few weeks but I would imagine we would be hoping to start it in term four.
“Hopefully we can provide some resources and equipment to the children as well.”