BQ and Indigenous Basketball
Australia Combine Forces
Basketball Queensland (BQ) is proud to announce that we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Indigenous Basketball Australia (IBA), with the aim of partnering on activities, competitions and events that will increase the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in basketball across the state. It is the first MOU executed by IBA with a state sporting organisation and signifies the mutual recognition and respect of each organisation.
Founded by NBA Champion, three-time Olympian and proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian Patty Mills, the programs delivered by IBA are centred by the core principles of culture, education, health, safety and wellbeing. Established to overcome the many challenges and barriers Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people face in the current Australian basketball systems and structures, the innovative IBA model seeks to instil basketball skills, values, and wellness at the grassroots level to give them every opportunity to thrive, both on and off the court.
Recently, IBA rolled out their new Indigenous Community Basketball League (ICBL) across the country, with three of the eight ICBL locations in Queensland. The Torres Strait (Thursday Island), Queensland North (Cairns) and Queensland South (Logan) regions have been conducting ICBL games for the past two weeks, with BQ Indigenous Pathways Program (BQIPP) Managers Michael Cedar and Joel Khalu actively assisting with its operations.
At the conclusion of the ICBL in March, IBA will then host its first-ever National Indigenous Basketball Tournament (NIBT) for under-14 athletes on the Gold Coast between 11-18 April, 2021. Each player competing in the ICBL will automatically be in the running for selection to represent their region and proudly sport their state colours in the NIBT.
BQ CEO Graham Burns said he was proud to be the first state to establish a partnership with IBA and was excited about the outcomes that could be achieved by BQ and IBA combining forces.
“One of our strategic priorities at Basketball Queensland is to be a leader in Indigenous engagement and inclusion, and our recently-established Basketball Queensland Indigenous Pathways Program has already made major inroads to achieving this.” said Burns. “We are thrilled to be supporting Patty Mills’ leadership and vision by collaborating with Indigenous Basketball Australia which will allow Basketball Queensland to create even more opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in basketball, on a much greater platform.”
Burns adds, “We’re certainly very proud to be the only state across the country to have three ICBL regions and are looking forward to working with IBA to deliver their 2021 National Indigenous Basketball Tournament on the Gold Coast in April.”
“Basketball has provided me the opportunity to learn, grow and be the best person I can be. It has also given me a voice, a platform and a responsibility to inspire and make a positive change to the lives of my people.” says Patty Mills. “Our goal with Indigenous Basketball Australia is to provide legitimate opportunities and pathways - we want these kids to dream big and really own their story.”
Mills’ concludes, “Our competitions and programs are the first of their kind in Australia and we have ambitious plans to expand into more regions and age groups. Working collaboratively with Basketball Queensland, who share our vision, values and passion, will allow us to achieve this goal. Together, through the power of sport, we will be building a brighter future for Aboriginal youth and Torres Strait Islander youth.”
To learn more about IBA please visit the official IBA website or follow IBA on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn using #OwnYourStory .
Learn more about BQ's Indigenous Pathways Program here.
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