The inaugural Melbourne Boomers Girls Academy kicked off in March/April and saw over 80 young women from across the city attend the six-week program every Tuesday at the State Basketball Centre in Wantirna South. The Boomers generously extended an invitation to Helping Hoops participants from our Fitzroy and Richmond programs for children living in public housing. These girls chosen were supported by our Women’s Development Coach Renee Clarke who provided transport and moral support from the sidelines.
“It was an amazing experience to see the girls flourish in an environment that wasn’t first nature to them. Only time will tell how big of an impact this opportunity has had on them. I’m guessing big things will come of these young women.”
The academy included the unique opportunity to learn directly from Melbourne Boomers players and head coach Guy Molloy who facilitated the sessions.
“The on-court part of the Melbourne Boomers Girls Academy exists to teach the fundamentals and skills of the game to which many young girls receive little access. We want the girls to have fun at the sessions, but become curious and engaged about how to become a better player. That way they become self-starters to hopefully have a long love affair with basketball.”
The inclusion of girls from a multicultural background shows a clear focus from the Boomers on giving equal-opportunity to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. General Manager Justin Nelson gave his thoughts on the academy,
“The Melbourne Boomers Girls Academy embodies everything we strive for when it comes to connecting the grassroots level of basketball with the elite – connection, inclusiveness, positive role models and the benefits associated with a healthy and active lifestyle. Our hope is that academy participants stay in the game for longer, set goals and strive for them, connect with positive influences and improve both basketball and life skills.”
Planning has commenced on further initiatives between Helping Hoops and the Boomers, and we look forward to giving even more opportunities to girls and young women in our programs.