Push for new sporting comps

Fiona Klavins is hopeful a community basketball competition could be running as soon as Term 4 this year.

Tumbarumba parents are starting a push for community sports, with proposals to launch a local basketball league and investigations into opportunities for soccer. 

Interested families met last week at the Tumbarumba Bowling Club last Monday and are in the process of forming a committee. So far, they’ve been pleased to receive the support of Basketball NSW and Snowy Valleys Councillor Julia Ham. 

Two local Year 10 students, Jack Moxey and Layne Bramich, had been sponsored by Nest Cafe to attend a Coaching Course in Wagga over the weekend, but the state’s snap lockdown cancelled that event.

The idea came out of a discussion amongst a few mothers about the options for indoor sports. Currently, Laura Fraumeni and Fiona Klavins are overseeing the basketball initiative while Beck O’Neill explores possibilities for indoor or outdoor soccer.

Mrs Klavins said Councillor Ham attended their first meeting, promising the council “would be keen to support whatever we could get up and running.”

The council’s support will likely be needed, since the town’s basketball facilities are in need of repair. Mrs Klavins said the group is also in discussions with Tumbarumba High School about using their courts.

“As mums, we thought it would be great to see some indoor sporting options,” said Mrs Klavins. 

“We’ve got this court that’s unused a lot of the time at the Tumbarumba Basketball Stadium and the high school is open to community sport, but we’re still investigating that. With Covid, everything’s trickier.”

The families have also been thrilled with the level of support they’ve received from sporting organisations, such as Basketball NSW.

“We had the Riverina Regional Development Officer come from Wagga, Isabel Forbes, to join us at the meeting [last week], which was very exciting,” said Mrs Klavins.

“Isobel spoke about the different things Basketball NSW could do to support us. They can run some free programs in Tumbarumba, so we’re planning to run two events on September 20th.”

With the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup to be held in Sydney in October 2022, there’s currently a flush of funding for women’s basketball in Australia. Mrs Klavins said that funding would support a girl’s basketball program titled ‘I AM A GIRL’ to come to Tumbarumba on September 20, with an open program to follow in the afternoon.

According to Basketball NSW, ‘I AM A GIRL’ 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.

Basketball NSW has also offered to supply referees to help get a future Tumbarumba basketball association off the ground, along with helping to set up administrative and governance issues.

“It’s just great,” said Mrs Klavins, “Very encouraging.”

If all goes to plan, a basketball competition could be running in Tumbarumba as soon as Term 4 this year. Organisers said they would start with a basic schedule and continue to build into 2022, ensuring that the competition doesn’t run into the netball season. It would run independently of the competitions in Tumut, but would be open to broader competitions in the future.

“I think that it will be great during Covid times to have a sport in town that doesn’t require a lot of travel and won’t be affected by border closures,” said Mrs Klavins.

The group plans to hold their first AGM soon, with details to come.

They’re also trying to track down any members of previous basketball committees which ran in Tumbarumba to learn from their experiences and gather records. 

For further information, email [email protected] or contact Laura at The Nest Cafe.