Ballarat basketballers visit Stawell

ALL SMILES: Craig Moller, Peter Hooley and Joy Burke at the Stawell basketball clinic. Picture: Peter Pickering.

ALL SMILES: Craig Moller, Peter Hooley and Joy Burke at the Stawell basketball clinic. Picture: Peter Pickering.

Children of all ages from around Stawell and Ararat gathered at the Stawell Leisure Centre on Tuesday to participate in the Harvey Norman regional hoops clinic run by players from the Ballarat Miners and Rush.

20 kids participated in the clinic run by USA import and Rush player Joy Burke, as well as Miners captain and point guard Peter Hooley and forward Craig Moller. 

The players ran drills and played a variety of different games throughout the hour long session.

Hooley said the clinic was terrific.

“It is fun to be out here and see the kids enjoy themselves and see them try to get better,” he said.

“The kids leave with smiles on their faces, so it is really rewarding.”

Hooley, who grew up in Adelaide, said he knows the importance of clinics in regional areas.

“I remember when I was growing up I used to love doing these clinics, going to see guys who were in the leagues I aspired to get to,” he said. 

“Country kids think it is harder for them to get anywhere because of how hard it is with the travel. It is a lot harder because city kids have it there for them.

“There are a lot of guys who are country kids who are getting places, it is awesome. You can start anywhere, it doesn’t matter where you come from. If you do the hard work you can get there.”

The Stawell Leisure Centre will host semester two of basketball and indoor programs as of Monday, July 24, with organisers hopeful of higher numbers than the semester one season. 

Burke ran a clinic in Stawell last year and said she was keen to come back.

“I had great memories from last year and when I heard we were going back to Stawell, I wanted to come back and do a clinic and bring some of the Miners too,” she said. 

Burke said the clinics are a great opportunity to grow the sport in regional areas.

“These clinics are a big part of what Basketball Ballarat is trying to do. We’re building a new indoor stadium and we really want it to be a community hub for all these regional towns,” she said.

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