Players, coach bounce between basketball stadiums

VOLUNTEER basketball coach Kellie Wilson divides her time between coaching four domestic basketball teams and her roles as girls’ co-ordinator for Phoenix Basketball Club.

Benefits: Kellie Wilson emphasises the importance of sport for children. PICTURE: KATE HEALY

Benefits: Kellie Wilson emphasises the importance of sport for children. PICTURE: KATE HEALY

Her weekly routine involves travelling between Soldiers Hill, Delacombe, Canadian and Alfredton for games and training sessions.

“I’m gone coaching five nights of the week because we only have limited courts and limited hours we can access them,” she said.

Ms Wilson said basketball was pivotal to the sporting culture of Ballarat and an investment needed to be made into the future of the sport.

She said sports like basketball provided interaction for children outside their normal social circles and the life skill of being a part of a team. 

“I think is very important because, for most kids, basketball is their first or second sport,” she said. 

“Also, with the  climate in Ballarat, it’s very important we have the right indoor sports and facilities to cater for the cold weather and so, without these type of facilities, you are limiting the access to sport for people in the region.” 

But Ms Wilson added that the benefit of grassroots sporting clubs ran deeper, providing a community for families to come together. 

“At Phoenix, we have a really good sense of community and we often do a lot of social activities together outside of basketball, as well,” she said.

Ms Wilson said the difficulty facing the sport at the moment, was that families who had more than one child involved in the sport were running from one stadium to the next to make it in time for the next game.

Ms Wilson said times between games were stretched from 8am until 4pm.

She said if there was a central hub, the pressure would be taken off families and those travelling to Ballarat to play driving from stadium to stadium.

“Our main problem is access to courts and times we are stretched for games,” Ms Wilson said. 

“I think if we had that investment into infrastructure, not only would it be extremely beneficial for people involved in the sport already, but it would also entice more young people to get involved.”

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