Leisure Networks and Geelong United Basketball partnership announced

Leisure Networks and Geelong United Basketball are pleased to announce a partnership that will deliver greater impact to individuals and communities by creating more opportunities for diversity and inclusion in basketball.

Last October the two organsiations launched the Geelong United All Abilities Basketball competition for players with a disability aged over 14 years. In the first season, the competition had representation from five local clubs, supporting seven teams to play in the summer competition.

Basketball is one of the fastest growing participation sports in Australia, with some 1.3 million people playing basketball across the Nation and more than 10,000 participants in Geelong alone. However, prior to establishing the all abilities competition here in Geelong, there were no competition opportunities for all abilities in Basketball anywhere in regional Victoria. Which meant, that while there were skill development programs available, people living with disability could not join a team or play for a club.

“That is key to what we are doing through our all abilities access model across AFL, netball and now Basketball,” explained David Meade, CEO Leisure Networks. “Playing sport is fantastic, it’s great for both physical and mental health, but what we are doing goes further. We are creating sporting competitions that sit within established regional sports associations. We are working with established clubs so that we can drive greater inclusion and diversity in these clubs and the communities that surround them. What this means for the players is that not only are they participating in a genuine community competition, they are also active, included members of their clubs.”

“Geelong United Basketball is committed to driving growth and development of the sport at all levels,” said Mark Neeld, CEO Geelong United Basketball. “This partnership is an important piece in how we are making basketball accessible to all Australians, empowering individuals and communities through the love of the game.

“We are thrilled to be hosting the region’s first all abilities basketball finals at the Geelong Arena on Friday March 22nd,” Mr Neeld continued. “With the promotion of lifelong activity as the mission of Geelong United Basketball, we’re pleased to see the sport of basketball now available to more members of the community.

“We wish Sharks, Try Boys, Lara Giants, Bobcats and Rovers all the best for their first all abilities finals round – ever!”

“We are excited to see the competition come so far in such a relatively short time,” said Mr Meade. “This partnership is a true collaboration of strengths, bringing Leisure Networks 30 plus years of experience in disability together with Victoria’s largest regional Basketball association, Geelong United Basketball. We are working together to grow this league so that everyone who wants to play can.”

The Geelong United All Abilities Basketball finals will take place from 4.30pm at Geelong Arena, with the Grand Final to played on centre court at 5.30pm.

Leisure Networks respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands and waters of Australia. We are committed to inclusive communities.