TAKING walking basketball to the next level at the Minerdome has set the standard statewide for being more than a game and a laugh.
The program, led by strength and conditioning guru Scott Talpey, is a key feature in Basketball Ballarat's accessible programs to help more people get moving on and off the court.
Major works to improve accessibility for all abilities in stadiums and programs has put the spotlight on Basketball Ballarat, which has been named the state's inclusive basketball association of the year.
The Basketball Victoria honour also recognises the association's growing wheelchair basketball program with Ballarat Dynamites, its multicultural community inclusion and its long-standing Prospectors program for people with an intellectual disability.
Ballarat's walking basketball program has become one of the most successful in the state with more than 30 people taking part in the no-contact, lower-energy form of the game.
Under Talpey, who also works with Ballarat's elite Miners and Rush teams, the walking basketball program has developed into a check on participants' general well-being and fitness each week.
While the new Ballarat Sports and Events Centre, opened last year, offers state-of-the-art facilities for all, Basketball Ballarat has also been working to retro-fit the Minerdome to better host adaptive programs.
Wheelchair athletes have moved from the nearby Ken Kay Badminton Stadium to BSEC for a temporary base, when coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
Works on the Minerdome to become the home for the city's adaptive and para-sports are almost ready to begin.
Basketball Ballarat chief executive officer Peter Eddy said the award was a privilege and acknowledged the work staff and volunteers in ensuring an inclusive playing environment. He said the works to upgrade the Minerdome was another testament to the association's commitment in adaptive sports.
Basketball Victoria's 2019 awards are being rolled out online after the cancellation of its awards dinner due to the pandemic.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.