DAVID KOOPMANS – President

David Koopmans is the Committee President of Helping Hoops and has been involved since 2012.

David brings 20 years of marketing and leadership experience to the committee and specifically helps the organisation think about how to tell our story and grow this fantastic charity. His ambition is to see Helping Hoops continue to thrive and run more programs in more places around the state and the country.

A lifelong basketball enthusiast and father of two, David joined Helping Hoops because it’s a grass roots organisation and a very practical way to have a positive impact on the life of hundreds of kids around Melbourne.

His best Helping Hoops moment was being part of the hugely successful 24 Hour Charity Shootout, taking rebounds for the participants and watching the smiles all around.

ADAM McKAY – Executive Director & Secretary

Adam is the Founder and current Executive Director/Secretary of Helping Hoops. Adam founded Helping Hoops in late 2009 after seeing an opportunity for participation-based sporting programs for disadvantaged children that focused on using basketball to instil positive values and help children in their lives off the court.

Adam has grown the Helping Hoops organisation from a simple idea to an organisation that now reaches over 1,000 children each year through 350-plus free session, and is incredibly proud of the progress the charity has been able to achieve in such a short space of time.

As Helping Hoops is a small organisation, Adam is involved in many different areas and enjoys the diversity of his roles. Most of all, Adam enjoys the fact that his efforts, and those of the Helping Hoops coaches and committee, have immediate results for disadvantaged children that are real and tangible.

Adam’s Helping Hoops highlight to date is taking a select group of Helping Hoops kids to meet Muggsy Bogues, who was a personal hero of his as a child, and who graciously shared his story of overcoming growing up in public housing, and being shot at the age of five, to become the shortest player in NBA history.

DANIEL HEATH – Treasurer & Vice President

Dan Heath is the Committee Vice President and Treasurer and has been involved since 2013.

Dan has been involved in coaching the kids at Atherton Gardens housing estate in Fitzroy, and is passionate about giving back to the local community; he has 15 years experience as a CPA.

Seeing the kids thrive and focus their energy in a fun environment has been Dan’s highlight.

NIMA SOBHANI – General Committee Member

Nima has been a part of the Helping Hoops family since 2016—first as a volunteer, then as Head Coach of the ‘Future’ program, and now as a member of the committee.

Nima holds a PhD in International Education and has over 10 years of tangible experience working at the nexus of basketball, community and international development, and education. This includes work at a strategic planning and policy level, given his contribution to a number of international research projects. He has also been involved at a grassroots and program level, as a teacher at an inner-city public school, and coach for the Yarra Wild Beasts of the SSANBA (South Sudanese Australian National Basketball Association).

A firm believer in the vision and values of Helping Hoops—in particular, its commitment to social justice, community building, and diversity—Nima brings his unique professional background combining on-court knowledge and operational expertise to ensure cohesion across program and policy within Helping Hoops.

GREGOR BROWNLEE – General Committee Member

Gregor is a basketball enthusiast having played for Bulleen/Templestowe as a junior and more recently coaching his son’s school team. Working in the FMCG space for 22 years, he brings expertise in brand management and business partnerships to Helping Hoops.

KRISTEN PENNY – General Committee Member

Kristen brings over 15 years in partnerships and marketing in both the tourism, events, sports and music industries. She has worked on major Melbourne events such as the Australian Open, Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, ICC Soccer Championship, ICC World Cup Cricket and the many Boomers events held in Melbourne. Kristen has previously sat on the boards of Arts Mildura and Mildura Country Music Festival, both extremely successful regional event organisations.

Kristen is currently the Partnerships Manager at Netball Victoria and the Melbourne Vixens, overseeing partners such as Puma, RACV, Woolworths, Nissan, Bupa, Deakin University, just to name a few.

Kristen has been involved as an active volunteer at the Fitzroy program of Helping Hoops for over 6 years, and as a Committee member for 4 years. 

SANDRA TAY – General Committee Member

Sandra has been involved with Helping Hoops for five years – first as a volunteer, then as the Operations Manager, and now as a volunteer again. In her various roles, Sandra has supported Helping Hoops’ growth, and in turn Helping Hoops has been instrumental in her personal development. On a personal level, Sandra is most proud of her work growing and strengthening our community of volunteers, and developing the 24 Hour Charity Shootout into a flagship community and fundraising event. But the most rewarding part for Sandra is watching children and young people develop their skills and confidence, seeing firsthand the positive impact that Helping Hoops has on participants’ lives.

NEIL GRAY – General Committee Member

Neil is a sports professional who has worked in soccer, cricket and bowls around the world. Originally born in Scotland, Neil now resides in Melbourne with his wife and young son. An avid basketball fan and two-time participant in the 24 Hour Charity Shootout, Neil is eager to help add his expertise to the team at Helping Hoops and ensure the program continues to go from strength-to-strength.