19 March 2024

Michelle Hocking brings a lifetime of experience to her new role as president of Basketball ACT

| Tim Gavel
Join the conversation
Belconnen Basketball Stadium. Photo: Jennifer Andrew.

Michelle Hocking: “The biggest challenge is facilities … The expansion of the Belconnen Basketball Stadium is critical.” Photo: Jennifer Andrew.

Michelle Hocking has pretty much filled every role within the Canberra basketball ecosystem. She has been a player, junior coach, elite coach, manager, committee member and administrator.

Some would suggest that being a club committee member is the toughest volunteer role of all. Nonetheless, it has perfectly prepared Michelle to understand almost every nuance and every facet of the sport from the grassroots up.

“I started playing when I was five. I was a rep player in Canberra, but I couldn’t take it to the next level and that’s when I decided to go into coaching,” says Michelle.

“I’ve coached in high-performance programs. I’ve been involved in coaching at the club level and I have also had an involvement in overseeing programs.”

Coaching is where Michelle made her mark in Canberra. She coached the Capitals in the 1995 and 1996 WNBL seasons after time as an assistant coach.

Michelle Hocking smiling

Michelle Hocking: “My understanding of the Canberra basketball ecosystem, I think, will help the sport grow even further.” Photo: Supplied.

Now her focus is ensuring the sport in the ACT can cater for the significant growth in participation numbers.

“At this point in time, basketball in the ACT is in a strong position. We are undergoing unprecedented growth. We are already one of the largest participation sports in the ACT and we want to support that growth.”

Says Michelle, “My understanding of the Canberra basketball ecosystem, I think, will help the sport grow even further.”

READ ALSO National Folk Festival strikes a chord with youths and children

Central to that growth is the provision of facilities.

It is a contentious issue in Canberra sport, not just basketball. The city ethos is one of activity and participation, but too often, it lacks the facilities to back it up.

As the new president, Michelle has hit the ground running on this issue.

“The biggest challenge is facilities with purpose-built courts because we are bursting at the seams at the moment. The expansion of the Belconnen Basketball Stadium is critical and we are working with the ACT Government to get the project up and running.”

READ ALSO It’s taken 13 years, but a new ‘vert ramp’ is coming to Canberra’s biggest skate park. Is it enough?

It’s also worth pointing out that, for the first time in Basketball ACT’s history, the organisation is being led by a female president and CEO, with Nicole Bowles taking up the latter role last year.

Michelle, who is taking over from Allan Yates, who was in the role for the past six years, is Basketball ACT’s first female president in 30 years and only the second in the history of the organisation, alongside Ros Roberts.

“I would like to acknowledge and thank Allan Yates for his leadership over the past six years and, more broadly, his contribution to the sport over many decades,” Michelle acknowledges, while also seeing broader involvement in the sport in Canberra.

“Basketball ACT is in a great position on and off the court. This is a credit to the dedication and hard work of our clubs, schools, volunteers, partners, Basketball ACT managers, staff and board.”

There will also be plenty to do as Michelle and Nicole lead the team and respond to the challenges exposed by what is likely the fastest-growing sport in the ACT.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
Fiona Carrick3:39 pm 20 Mar 24

Bring back the indoor sports stadium at Woden too. It is centrally located with access by public transport.
How will the imbalance in the location of facilities be resolved with new investment being located in Belconnen – the expansion of Basketball ACT, a new facility at UC and the upgrade of the AIS?

Bring back the basketball courts to the Dome in Fadden. That was a great facility and was a shame to see it close down.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.