Basketball plan finds bounce
BASKETBALL: New junior and senior basketball teams could be on the cards for Airlie Beach after significant interest was garnered from locals at the Whitsunday Sports Expo last month.
Whitsunday Sportspark president Justin Butler said parents had approached him during the last two sports expos to discuss the possibility of getting a team off the ground.
"Without a doubt it (basketball) has been the one that's held the most interest across the last couple of years," he said.
"Ultimately, we have the facility at the netball courts at the sportspark. There's no problem with growing basketball by using the netball courts."
Mr Butler said most of the interest had come from parents with primary school-aged children and parents who had played basketball as children and were keen to introduce their youngsters to the sport.
However, since the expo, he said he had received expressions of interest from keen adults who play social basketball in Proserpine and said they would take note of "anyone interested in basketball".
Two previously established Airlie Beach basketball teams will be competing in the Mackay Basketball Association competition this year.
Airlie Beach Thunder, formerly known as PCYC Airlie Beach, will be competing in the Under 16 and Under 18 boys' categories this year under the guidance of coach Matthew Doherty.
Both teams practice at the outdoor basketball court next to Cannonvale Skate Park on Monday night.
But Mr Doherty said he would be "one hundred per cent" happy to grow the team at Whitsunday Sportspark as well as assist developing teams.
Mr Butler said he had taken the details of interested people so they could organise a meeting to discuss forming an association.
But committed helpers will be required to make the team reality.
"We'll give them a hand with incorporating a new association. We'll give them a hand with setting it up so the interested parents can focus on the kids, training and playing instead of all the admin and requirements," Mr Butler said.
"I'm happy to help with the statutory side of things but it really needs those coaches and managers willing to say they'll have a go."
If established, Mr Butler said the team, or teams, would play within the Whitsunday region for a year or two before progressing to the Mackay competition as they built up numbers.
Anyone interested in a junior or senior basketball team should email Justin Butler on firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We'll have a meeting and run with it from there," he said.