Meeting will be key for North-West Thunder’s future

ALEX FAIR   THE ADVOCATE   A meeting early next month is expected to play a key role in hopefully helping the North-West Thunder solve their Victorian Elite League double-header problems.

Basketball Tasmania chief executive Chris McCoy on Thursday said the meeting in Melbourne involving his organisation on the first weekend of December between the three Tasmanian clubs (the Thunder, Launceston Tornadoes and Hobart Chargers) and Basketball Victoria will see the Thunder’s home game worries set to be one of the main topics of conversation.

Thunder chairman Tony Barker  has been open about his club’s worries about potentially having to share home game duties with the Tornadoes, and the financial impact on his club.

Barker has previously said the Thunder would not play in the new league, which has offered the Tasmanian trio a home after Basketball Australia withdrew its support of the SEABL, if it would financially ruin the club. 

“We will know where we are at in about a fortnight,’’ McCoy said.

“I still think we are going in the right direction, but there are still those questions about the home games, playing six in the North-West and six in Launnie how that works for the clubs and their budgets.

“The Thunder have certainly been financially responsible, and I think they have taken the right approach to this, and we will know where we stand after that meeting.”

McCoy was in Devonport on Thursday to announce Basketball Tasmania’s partnership with McDonalds, which will deliver the BTAS Macca’s on Your Team basketball camps next year.

The North-West Coast camps in 2019 will be held on January 29 and 30 in Devonport, April 17 and 18 at Ulverstone, July 16 and 17 in Burnie and October 9 and 10 back in Devonport.

A Maccas On Your Team community initiative program will see McDonalds Franchisees provide “essential equipment” to basketball clubs.

That program aims to to “encourage Tasmanian junior sports participants to get involved in community sport, socialise with friends and lead active lifestyles”.

“This is a really good partnership for us as McDonalds is a really great brand, as they are providing an investment into our sport with balls and equipment,’’ he said. 

“Our associations will also benefit as well as our participants of our state body activities.

“The camps will be targeted towards the entry level boys and girls, the learn to play market, and then we will learn to flow those through our clubs and our associations, so we are really excited to get the chance to build a bigger base in our sport in that 6-12 age group.”

The new program follows a major structure review by BTAS, with this program about “planting the seeds” for future growth.

North-West Coast junior basketball were treated to a skills clinic at the launch.

For more information on the camps or to register, visit www.basketballtasmania.com.au 

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