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Community energy reignites basketball in Carnarvon

Published: February 24, 2021 10:53pm

For a basketball loving community like Carnarvon, it was sad when competitions ceased a few years ago and the courts fell silent.

Knowing that basketball is a great way of inspiring and engaging young people, Carnarvon PCYC had been talking with Basketball WA how to reignite the sport locally, but the way forward was going to need much support from the community.

Luckily, in early 2020, everything changed. Carnarvon PCYC along with the DLGSC, Shire of Carnarvon, Stephen Michael Foundation and Ngala Midwest/Gascoyne got together to see what could be done to return basketball to the town. A Working Group was formed and the energy and passion they created brought Basketball WA on board too.

“Carnarvon PCYC Centre Manager, Bree Maher, said, “PCYC is aware that without intervention and support, many young people are unintentionally excluded from community sport for reasons such as not having support at home to get them to and from activities, a feeling of shame or fear as they don’t go to school with the other children and so don’t feel welcome or comfortable with people they don’t know.”

Bree continued, “We know Basketball is a great engagement tool for young people and we wanted to do whatever we could to help.”

Thanks to the Working Group, a five-week program was implemented in Term 4 last year where all agencies provided staff and resources to deliver a three-hour basketball program for both junior and seniors.

PCYC’s involvement was to support young people who were disengaged from school and encourage them, to participate by providing transport as well as healthy snacks. Thanks to funding from DLGSC, PCYC could also provide a sports coordinator.

Now the program is up and running the plan is to make the program bigger and better by providing free referee training and building coaching capacity for volunteers.

Bree Maher concluded, “The return of basketball to Carnarvon is a wonderful example of the community spirit here where everyone works together to achieve the best outcome for our children and young people.”