A new basketball facility in the Hobart CBD set to support one of Tasmania's fastest growing sports.
The University of Tasmania will establish a basketball facility at the former K&D site in Hobart, working with local business, associations and community organisations, including schools to support one of the State’s fastest growing sports.
The new facilities will be bookable by the community and include a competition basketball court, three half courts, and other advanced training and coaching facilities.
Work on the new development will start in February and the facility is expected to open by April this year.
The facilities will be delivered in partnership with sporting start-up Swisherr, which has a growing business model built around new training technology, helping people at every level enjoy and build basketball skills.
Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane Long said the facilities would utilise the site for at least the next three years, until it is developed as part of the University’s new inner-city campus.
“Basketball is a growing code in Tasmania, and we are keen to support that and give more people the opportunity to participate,” Professor Long said.
“We are looking forward to sharing our plan for developing our city campus in the first half of this year, but we are also keen to explore how we can bring life and energy to the city at those properties that will be part of that future campus in the meantime.
“We will support this growing presence in the city with new sporting, cultural and social opportunities.”
Swisherr Director Anthony Stewart said the partnership would provide great opportunities not only for University students, but also for the whole basketball community.
“We look forward to working with Basketball Tasmania, local clubs and schools, and the new Jack Jumpers NBL team, to grow this sport and provide great health, fitness and learning opportunities for many Tasmanians,” he said.
The announcement was broadly welcomed by the City of Hobart, the state’s basketball community and schools whose students will benefit from not only the sports facility, but increased visibility of the educational pathways from secondary schools to University.
Hobart Lord Mayor Councillor Anna Reynolds said it was great to see the University working in partnership to meet the needs of the community.
“I’m so pleased this important site will be well used and full of activity,” Councillor Reynolds said.
“It’s great to have another recreational facility available for residents."
Basketball Tasmania CEO Chris McCoy said that basketball was riding a “huge wave” at present in Tasmania, with an upswing globally in support and the State’s National Basketball League debut later this year with the Jack Jumpers.
“Along with this momentum comes a massive need for more places to play – especially in Hobart,” he said.
“Basketball Tasmania is excited at the opportunity that the sport can link with the University of Tasmania on this new facility, which is ideally located in the CBD.
Jack Jumpers CEO Simon Brookhouse acknowledged the importance of the University and basketball community working together for the benefit of the wider community.
“We are looking forward to working with the University and local basketball community to provide exciting new ways for Tasmanians to play, learn and watch the game of basketball,” he said.
Young people accessing the centre through their school or local club will not only have access to high-tech facilities, but also a pathway to future study.
Taroona High School Principal Matthew Bennell said the initiative aligned with the school’s commitment to provide its students with the best possible facilities and coaching.
“Students from Taroona High School, along with those from a number of Hobart schools and colleges, have benefited from the innovative approach to providing basketball pathways,” he said.
“This partnership aligns with our strategic direction, which aims to make the transition from Years 9 to 12 - and pathways beyond Year 12 - seamless for our learners.
“We see this partnership with UTas as an opportunity for more young Tasmanians to see university as a legitimate option for their future.”