Basketball in Crystal Brook is set to bounce on for years to come with a recent federal grant from the Community Sport Infrastructure program securing the longevity of the summer sport.
The Crystal Brook Junior Basketball Club have received $22,182 which will go towards replacing the towers which have been standing on the courts since the 1970s.
Life member of the club Trish Taylor was teary and overwhelmed at the news of the grant, with the club undertaking several fundraising activities recently in an attempt to afford the new towers.
“It was absolutely wonderful, not expected. You have to keep trying and it was just unbelievable”, she explained.
“Without these new towers, basketball could’ve stopped in Crystal Brook and about 120 children play so you would be cutting them out of a summer sport.”
The club feared that they would not be able to go ahead with the summer season, yet now that they have been ordered and are set to arrive in February, they have opened the door to so many more opportunities for the club.
“They couldn’t hold carnivals or competitions against other towns”, Trish said, “but now that it can happen, they will hold inter-town carnivals, which has opened up an avenue for them.”
Previously, the club had received funding from Pacific Hydro, which paid for one court but they still had two more to do.
With the cost gap about $25,000 after the first funding injection, the club set out on their own fundraising mission. They approached places like Sports Australia and the Federal Government and to their luck, they received the grant.
Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said the club was very deserving of the funding and he did not want to see a sport die in such a lively town.
“The basketball club has a great group of youngsters who love their basketball and this club, like many others, it runs on the backs of volunteers and parents”, Mr Ramsey said.
“Replacing expensive equipment such as the basketball towers is quite a challenge and this funding will provide great support for the club.”
The club was left with approximately $3,000 to meet the costs of the new towers but they are thankful for Cr Dino Gadaleta who made a personal donation and the Lions club and Reflections who also donated money.
Trish Taylor says what is to come for the club is very exciting and they are overjoyed to be able to provide safe and long-lasting equipment as well as a sport which will keep the town busy during off season for football.
“It is just wonderful, kids can now dunk on them.”
There was a lot of wiring involved before, putting them in and out which was so dangerous and now it will all be gone. You just hook them down now. They can lowered for the minis, for our disabled children that play.”
“It keeps kids off of the street, teaches them leadership skills, sharing skills, just keeps the kids fit. The mental and physical wellness is the main point”, Trish said.