Monday, May 27, 2024

Junior Basketball Championship slam dunk for Mackay

Mackay is set to host the 2021 and 2022 Under 20 Australian Junior Basketball Championships and Ivor Burge Championships for open-age players under a two-year agreement with Basketball Australia.

Mackay Regional Council Mayor Greg Williamson said council was looking forward to hosting elite level junior basketball athletes in our region.

“Events like these are not only great news for sporting fans but they improve the region’s liveability,” Mayor Williamson said.

“Council is proud to support these events through our Invest Mackay Events Attraction Fund, which aims to attract more visitors to our region and, in turn, generate positive economic results for our community while fostering community pride.”

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said Mackay would become Queensland’s junior basketball hub from May 3 to 7.

“This is great news for Mackay and is set to contribute $2.7 million to the region’s COVID-19 economic recovery,” Mrs Gilbert said.

“Over the two-years, bringing basketball to Mackay is estimated to generate up to 19,000 visitor nights for the region and support jobs for accommodation and transport providers, tourism operators, restaurants and cafés,” she said.

“The residents of Mackay will get to watch Basketball Australia’s stars of the future in action and showcase our beautiful region.

“For players, there’s much to enjoy off-court from the southern Great Barrier Reef to fishing, hiking and the wallabies at sunrise at Cape Hillsborough.

“It’s our own slice of Queensland paradise and we can’t wait to extend a warm welcome to the basketball community.”               

Tourism and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the two-year agreement between Tourism and Events Queensland, Basketball Australia and Mackay Regional Council would see 20 teams compete in 85 games at the Multisport Stadium.    

“Mackay will be home to  the men’s and women’s Under 20 Australian Junior Championships and Ivor Burge Championships for open-age players with an intellectual disability from 3-7 May 2021, and host the championships again in 2022,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“These are state, amateur representative teams featuring the best young basketball talent and support crews staying in Mackay for the duration of the competition,” he said. 

“For fans of the game, there is a feast of basketball to be had in Mackay.

“We know the tourism industry is hurting but it is events like the Under 20 Australian Junior Basketball Championships and Ivor Burge Championships that help to bring visitors to regional Queensland and support local jobs.  

“Events are backing our state’s economic recovery from COVID and helping the tourism industry to rebuild and rebuild better.”

General Manager Basketball at BA, Paul Maley said the sport’s governing body was excited to be bringing these national championships to Mackay in North Queensland for the next two years.

“The Under 20 Australian Junior and Ivor Burge Championships showcase the best young basketball talent from across the nation,” Mr Maley said.

“These championships are a critical part of the pathway for elite players, officials and coaches and many of our sport’s greatest athletes have played in this event over the years, making for high quality and entertaining basketball over the week-long competition.

“Basketball Australia would like to thank the Queensland Government, Tourism and Events Queensland, Cairns Regional Council and Mackay Basketball for their ongoing support of basketball and for hosting these important national championships.”

One of Australia’s greatest basketballers and current senior women’s national team head coach, Sandy Brondello said she was both proud and delighted to see her hometown hosting the Under 20 Australian Junior and Ivor Burge Championships.

“I’m thrilled that Mackay will be hosting these two championships over the next two years,” Ms Brondello said.

“Mackay is a passionate basketball city and was a wonderful co-host of the hugely successful 2020 WNBL season,” she said.

“Having participated in the Under 20 Australian Junior Championships for Queensland in 1995, I know firsthand just how much this tournament means to Australia’s emerging elite basketballers and their career aspirations.

“I’m certain the people of Mackay will embrace these national championships and will make it an event to remember for visitors to the region.”

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