Basketball, netball heads proposal for a new indoor sports centre

Stakeholders could well inherit a future Launceston indoor sports stadium to contain up to 17 basketball and netball courts, including an all-seated “showcourt” to engage elite-level sport.

That’s one proposal still in the embryonic stages being floated around, as Basketball Tasmania also discusses further conceptual plans with the Tasmanian government.

Northern Tasmanian Netball Association chair Andy Stuart is driving a steering committee on behalf of sporting community groups.

Stuart, a one-time Football Federation Tasmania board member, plans to invite prospective users to gauge their interest and needs.

The committee has also considered seven possible sites around Launceston for the stadium proposal.

The multi-purpose facility could contain a gymnasium, a sports massage centre, on-site accommodation and catering facilities to attract sports teams to Launceston for training camps.

Basketball Tasmania chief executive Chris McCoy was hoping a partnership with Northern Tasmanian Netball Association could benefit both parties.

“With this process, it is still quite early days,” he said.

“We expect do do something similar to what we’ve done in Hobart – we would do a feasibility study, which identifies the need of sports and gives a framework around usage.

“We’d like to go through that process and draw up the concept plans from there.

“We can’t be specific at the moment, but there is certainly quite a few options.

“It’s a matter of working through those to get a good outcome because we desperately need quality and more facilities for sports to grow.”

Basketball has always called Elphin Sports Centre home since opening in 1965.

It has hosted the defunct Launceston City Casino NBL side from 1980 to 1982 and the women’s Launceston Tornadoes in the SEABL for the past two decades.

McCoy also said he was also not against refurbishing the ageing centre that has four basketball courts.

“We are supporting a few options now so we’re unsure of the make-up,” he said.

“Whether its through new courts at Elphin, whether it’s on a new site, but certainly we’ll be working with the stakeholders in the sport, working the government, working with the sport and rec, and we are very happy to work with netball.”

McCoy said he is in regular conversation with government for improvements.

A spokesperson for Premier Will Hodgman said: “The government is always willing to sit down with sport representatives to discuss their needs.”