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15 January, 2021

Too deadly Competition

THIS week, Indigenous Basketball Australia (IBA) announced details of their first basketball competition, Indigenous Community Basketball League (ICBL) that aims to provide a pathway for participation and success for the next generation of Aboriginal youths and Torres Strait Islander youths.

Under the powerful tagline ‘Own Your Story’, the competition will target under 14 year olds and will run across eight locations in Australia, inclusive of the Torres Strait Islands with the first round scheduled to tip off on Sunday, February 7, 2021.

Founded by NBA Champion, three-time Olympian and proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian Patty Mills , the programs delivered by the IBA are centred by the core principles of culture, education, health, safety and wellbeing.

The community basketball competitions, national tournaments and development camps facilitated by the IBA will allow young Indigenous people to preserve cultural practices, strengthen and promote their individual identity while also leading a healthy lifestyle. Collectively, this is a National first in Australian sport.

ICBL is the first competition aimed at discovering, engaging, supporting and empowering Aboriginal youths and Torres Strait Islander youths in a safe and positive environment.

“To continue my efforts as a leader for my people and to follow my family’s legacy of providing legitimate opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through my sport of basketball is the true outcome of my personal success and accomplishments.” says Patty Mills.

“What we will do with the IBA programs and competitions has never been done before and is the first-of-its-kind in this country’s sporting environment. It’s game changing and we’re creating history.

He adds, “As a starting point, we will begin with the age group of under 14. The early adolescence years are crucial for a child’s cognitive, emotional and social development - our complementary programs throughout the competitions of IBA will support these kids and their communities in embracing their culture and unlocking ones full potential in an environment that is safe and free from any discrimination.

Harnessing the spirit of the IBA’s commitment to pathway development, each player competing in the ICBL will automatically be in the running for selection to represent their region, and proudly sport their state colours at the National Indigenous Basketball Tournament on Queensland’s Gold Coast in April 2021.

Unique to this program are the ‘Inspirational and Motivational Sessions’ that will complement the weekly competitions. Role models and motivational speakers will share their personal stories of setting and achieving goals and will also be offering their support to the participants on their journey to success.

“As a proud Torres Strait Islander, I am incredibly supportive of Indigenous Basketball Australia and the real opportunity it would bring to my people - both on and off the court.” adds Nathan Jawai, Forward and Centre of the Cairns Taipans.

“The IBA model will see young players supported in a positive and safe environment to fulfil their dreams; equipping them with invaluable tools, skills and experience to flourish and succeed. I strongly encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths to sign up today to participate in the Indigenous Community Basketball League and the innovative IBA programs.

Aboriginal youths and Torres Strait Islander youths who are under 14 years old in the 8 regions identified are encouraged to register for the ICBL by visiting the official IBA website where they will find the contact details of their Regional Coordinator.

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