Local

Titles tick for Shepparton

By Tyler Maher

Shepparton will host next year’s Basketball Victoria Country Under-14 Championships in a massive tick for Greater Shepparton Basketball Association’s organisational processes.

Despite a cacophony of noise surrounding the state of the ageing facilities at Shepparton Sports Stadium, the local association continues to snare premier basketball events — a nod to the excellence of the tournaments run in the Goulburn Valley.

‘‘We’re definitely excited, we put our application in and crossed our fingers, so we’re pretty stoked,’’ GSBA general manager Stacey Cole said.

‘‘We feel lucky that we got one (of the four championships on offer) given that we definitely need a stadium upgrade and that Bendigo got the other three.

‘‘We are well renowned for hosting great events and that has helped.’’

When announcing the coup for Shepparton, BVC general manager David Huxtable again weighed into the debate surrounding the funding push to upgrade the local stadium.

‘‘Shepparton has been a great host of recent BVC events and we’re thrilled to announce it will host a country championships event in 2019,” he said.

‘‘For Shepparton to continually look to attract events to the sports stadium, serious consideration needs to be given to updating the ageing facilities and adding additional courts.

‘‘When you look at what regional cities, such as Bendigo, Ballarat and Traralgon are doing, Shepparton will be left behind in this space.’’

Cole encouraged all members of the Greater Shepparton community to get behind potential stadium upgrades, citing the benefits will spread much further than just improved basketball facilities.

‘‘We’re very grateful for Basketball Victoria’s support, it’s their number one project at the moment and they’re working as hard as we are to try and get an announcement at the state or federal level,’’ Cole said.

‘‘We’re very grateful to council as well, they continue to support any sporting organisation who wants to bring events like this to the region.

‘‘It’s not just a basketball thing, but will bring benefits for the whole community, so it’s great that we have the basketball people behind it and now we need the whole community to support it as well.’’

Next year’s country championship event, on from April 6 to 8, is just another in a long line of tournaments awarded to Shepparton, including the Basketball Australia Under-14 Club Championships.