Basketball New Zealand is delighted to announce the appointment of Mel Downer as the Talent Manager, South Island. This position is a part-time role created in collaboration with the Canterbury Regional Basketball Foundation. Downer will spend her remaining time working for the Foundation, particularly with the Mainland Eagles Academy in Christchurch and helping to deliver representative programs in the region.
The Basketball New Zealand Talent Manager role has been created to support the High Performance needs of the Associations in the South Island and to provide greater clarity around the National High Performance programs. The role includes monitoring players, supporting athletes along the player pathway, and reporting high performance processes and expectations to the community.
Basketball New Zealand’s High Performance Director, Leonard King, says this new role will provide the appropriate leadership, guidance and support to improve the alignment between Basketball New Zealand and the basketball entities throughout the South Island. He says it will help link the national high-performance programs through to regional and local levels.
“In an attempt to better service the High performance coaches and athletes based in the South Island, BBNZ view’s this role as an ideal opportunity to materially enhance the High Performance resources at the local level and to continue our efforts to remain proactive in a fast changing international sporting environment. This is another step in BBNZ’s commitment to work with our Associations, and ensure we deliver quality products for our emerging elite-level athletes and coaches.
“We are extremely fortunate to have Mel joining us. Her skills and experience, and her strength in program management, makes her the ideal person to take up this newly created position. Mel has a passion for serving the game and will be a valuable asset in advancing basketball in New Zealand,” says King.
Coach Downer is a former Head Coach at the Australian Institute of Sport for women. Most recently she was the High Performance Manager for Basketball Queensland South region and Head Coach of the Logan Women’s Senior State league basketball team.
Mel will begin her role with the Canterbury Regional Basketball Foundation this week. Part of that role will include being the Canterbury Basketball Rep Academy Manager and supporting Coach Ben Sheat with the Mainland Eagles Academy. Her first on-court coaching will be at the Mainland Eagles Camp South Island starting today.