Canberra professional services firm Cordelta has this week announced its sponsorship of Basketball ACT’s under 12 girls 2018 development program.
The development program is for under 12 and under 14 age groups, preparing players for state representative programs and higher-level programs. It’s also competitive – of the 84 players who tried out for the under 12 girls program this year, just 40 were selected.
Players represent Canberra in a NSW league, with 16 games (excluding finals) in Canberra and interstate. They train twice a week for two hours and complete homework activities that range from physical exercises to learning how to analyse statistics from recent games.
In mid-year, ten players from each age group are selected to represent the ACT at nationals. But head coach Fiona Hannan says it’s as much about building life skills as it is about winning games or landing a spot on the ACT team.
“This is a development program. We provide equal opportunities for players to participate and improve. We try and win where we can, but not at the expense of kids not getting to play,” she says.
“At the same time, we want kids to be challenged, to fail and to build a set of life skills. When young people are too sheltered they grow into adults that aren’t resilient and can’t experience unfairness without falling apart. Sport is one of the last places where children have opportunities to build character, thrive and learn skills that will help them as adults.
“At the start of the year I made a big speech to the players and their parents about what we expect from them. Some parents do find it challenging to step back, but most of the time they understand why it’s important and how it can benefit their kids.”
With decades of professional playing and coaching experience under her belt, parents can be confident their children are in safe hands. Fiona was a professional basketball player for 18 years, was part of Australia’s bronze medal-winning Opals team at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and represented Australia at the Sydney Olympics in handball. All four head coaches of the under 12 girls program have played professionally at a national level.
Fiona says she and others in the program are grateful for sponsorships such as those provided by Cordelta.
“Without sponsors, everything is funded by parents. Even before players get on the court they need to have paid for rego and uniforms. Then there are accommodation, food and transport costs that come with weekend trips to places like Newcastle and Albury for games,” she says.
“Sponsorships by businesses go a long way towards covering those expenses and are really appreciated by families. The benefit for local businesses is that Basketball ACT has a full-time media and marketing resource and a well-managed sponsorship program. They work hard to promote businesses that support us.”
Cordelta senior executive Carolyn Beake says sponsoring the under 12 girls program is just one of the ways the company chooses to give back to the Canberra community.
“Our mission is to help people succeed, which extends to our broader community. We have an ongoing program of support for local and national charities, as well as community groups and sporting organisations. Other groups we’ve supported recently include St Nick’s Young Carers Program and OzHarvest,” she says.
“We’re very happy to sponsor the under 12 girls program and wish the players all the best over the coming months.”
If you’d like to support the Basketball Canberra under 12 girls 2018 development program, please contact Basketball ACT.