Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) has announced its intention to set up a charitable fund in 2023, which will exist to support young Kiwi athletes with attending national team training camps and tournaments as part of their basketball journey.
The BBNZ Youth Development Fund will be established next year as a support platform for New Zealand athletes aged up to 19 years old – and who are invited to be part of BBNZ age group national team training camps and tournaments – but who may lack the financial means to attend these vital pathway events.
The BBNZ Youth Development Fund will be funded by a mixture of activities, from fundraising events undertaken by both BBNZ and supporting Partners, to donations provided by those in the community who want to support athletes to achieve their sporting dreams. Once an athlete has been invited by BBNZ to participate in an age group camp or tournament, they will be able to apply for funding support from this Fund – on the condition they can demonstrate a genuine need for financial support in this space.
BBNZ Chief Executive, Dillon Boucher says that young athletes should be given every opportunity and support to attend age group events, regardless of whether the family can afford it or not.
“We know there are many talented young basketballers in Aotearoa who have the potential to develop through our performance pathways at an age group level – but who lack the funds to attend some of our camps or to travel overseas with our national teams,” says Boucher.
“BBNZ absorbs as much of the cost for these activities as it possibly can, but typically the travel and accommodation costs sit with the athletes who attend. This isn’t a new issue and it’s one that affects almost every sporting code in New Zealand, and it’s something we want to find a solution to.”
Boucher says that the recent support shown by Hanley’s Farm was an example of funding support being used to empower young athletes at an international level.
“We were very fortunate to have Hanley’s Farm step in and cover the costs for our U15 Girl’s Team at the FIBA U15 Oceania Championships in Guam; we know the players and their families were incredibly grateful for this support as it allowed them to focus on and enjoy the tournament.
“But the reality is that it’s difficult for us to receive funding support for our age group teams like this. We don’t want cost to be a barrier that prevents a young athlete from becoming our next Tall Fern or Tall Black – or from going on to make basketball a career for themselves at home or overseas.
“So this Fund will be there to help our next generation of athletes to achieve their basketball goals. It’s exciting for us and is something that is personally very close to my heart.”
More information about the BBNZ Youth Development Fund will be announced next month.
BBNZ Charity Christmas Auctions
As its first fundraising initiative to build funds into the BBNZ Youth Development Fund, BBNZ has today launched a series of fun Christmas auctions on TradeMe – with all funds raised going directly into the Fund.
Auction items range from signed Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns merchandise to unique basketball experiences; from signed uniforms and being part of the action on-court at the Tall Blacks WCQ home games in February 2023, to one-on-one skills sessions with a Tall Ferns player.
View all nine auctions at http://bbnz.link/trademe