Basketball proves a big hit for Tumba girls

Forty-six enthusiastic girls turned out for the Tumbarumba ‘I Am A Girl’ come and try basketball day at Tumbarumba Sports Stadium on Thursday afternoon. Photo: Wendy Lavis.

The Tumbarumba Basketball Association in conjunction with Basketball NSW held their ‘I Am A Girl I Can Do Anything’ come and try day at Tumbarumba Sports Stadium on Thursday afternoon, and it was a massive hit, with 46 girls aged between 6 and 15 taking part. 

The ‘I Am A Girl I Can Do Anything’ program is run by Basketball NSW and aims to create a platform to encourage females of all ages to play, referee, coach, officiate and administrate basketball.

The program provides pathways and assists in the development of female role models and Basketball NSW Regional Development officer, Isabel Forbes, said the Tumbarumba clinic was a huge success.

“It was a great turn out, which is what we wanted to see, because it is all about increased participation at the most basic level,” Forbes said.

“We wanted to get girls in the door and having a little fun, not taking it too seriously and that’s exactly what we did in Tumbarumba.

“We had some girls that would not participate for the first 10 or 15 minutes and after that, they had an absolute blast and there were a couple of young girls that took straight to the sport and looked absolute naturals.” 

Forbes said the concept of the skills session was to introduce girls to the sport, before Basketball NSW started working with schools and local associations in order to get basketball played at the most basic level in the region.

“The skills program hopefully leads to these players joining an association somewhere and playing basketball,” Forbes said.

“We also work closely with the schools, and we are trying to engage them to take up basketball as a sport for at least one term a year.

“And it’s not all basketball game play but fun game play. Learning ball control, having a laugh and having some confidence.”

This program is supported by the New South Wales Government’s strategic focus on women and girls in sport through the ‘Her Sport Her Way’ program and basketball’s goal to move towards gender equality.

While introducing girls to the sport of basketball was Basketball NSW’s and the Tumbarumba Basketball Association’s focus, now competition organisers are planning to host a boy’s come and try day in the near future.

“Tumbarumba are planning on running a similar program for the boys, which is their own initiative and that is great to see,” Forbes said.

“With the interest we saw with the ‘I Am a Girl’ day, from there, I think they will definitely go into a junior competition next year. 

“It might start off as a social competition, but they are already looking at setting up a competition next year.”

Tumbarumba Basketball Association President Fiona Klavins was thrilled with the turnout at their inaugural come and try day before highlighting that the feedback from players and parents was very positive. 

“It was huge, and I was really glad that Isabel was running it because she has so much experience,” Klavins said. 

“I thought the atmosphere was great and I’ve had a lot of positive feedback, and I’ve had girls and parents asking when the competition would start or when the next thing was on, and we are just in the planning stages of that.”

Tumbarumba Basketball Association will commence an ‘Aussie Hoops’ program for their youngest ballers, before progressing to an under 15s competition in the near future.

“One thing we do know we will run is Aussie Hoops. It is a set program for 5- to 10-year-olds and parents can register kids online, get a singlet and a ball and it runs for 45 minutes and that builds their skills.

“Then the board is trying to work out how to break up the other age groups and we are open to ideas. 

“This term, we didn’t want to leave anyone out, so we are targeting the 15s and under, but we hope to grow from there.

“We are thinking about hosting some events after the boys’ event and we have locked in Monday afternoons, and we hope to start a competition next year.”

For parents and potential players interested in getting involved with Tumbarumba Basketball Association, readers can visit their Facebook page for more information.