A push for a boutique Launceston-based basketball and netball stadium has intensified with Basketball Australia lending its support.
The national governing body’s senior operations manager Mark Quinn, who was in Tasmania to see Launceston Tornadoes and Hobart Chargers advance throughout to this weekend’s SEABL finals, said the need was evident.
About 1100 people packed Elphin Sports Centre to watch the Torns take down Nunawading, with hundreds left wanting and watching via a livestream.
“Basketball is booming here in Tasmania… but unfortunately, as is the case with a lot of states, the venues that we have are either not acceptable or just don’t have enough venues for kids to play,” Quinn said.
“I totally agree with Janie [Finlay] in that it was great to see so many people on Saturday, but it would be great if the Tornadoes had a venue where the Tornadoes could get more people in a good-quality stadium.”
Quinn said benefits from several years hard work focusing on youth was starting to pay off and that the sport was in a strong place statewide.
He said to have both senior men’s teams and Launceston play finals this season was credit to all involved.
“To have three of your four teams make the finals is exceptional and shows that what Basketball Tasmania are doing in terms of improving the talent is working,” Quinn said.
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“Having seen the under-16s boys do so well this year was great to see because there have been a lot of years where Tasmanian teams have gone to the national junior championships and haven’t done so well.
“The future of basketball in Tasmania is definitely there.”
Quinn said Launceston proved they are championship material after defeating this week’s grand final opponents Bendigo Braves in the qualifying final.
He said the result somewhat helped vindicate scrapping conferences and reverting to the one ladder and a top-eight finals series at the end of last season.
“The men’s ladder this year there were so many positions determined by head-to-head results, which shows how close the competition was,” Quinn said. “And the finals have showed that the leagues are so close. You could be in second place, lose a game and drop to fifth or sixth – every game is vital.
“It showed with Launceston. They didn’t have a very good start to the year but through a run of vital games saw them shoot up into fourth position in the last round. Then they shocked a lot of people all by beating the undefeated Bendigo on their home turf.”
Saturday in Melbourne
- Women’s finale: Bendigo v Launceston, 5.45pm
- Men’s finale: Hobart v Nunawading, 8pm
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