It is hard to believe that we are on the doorstep of the 2022 NBL South season. Unfortunately, the wider public all over the world have been starved of community events and live sport during the pandemic. Basketball at the Icehouse has been no different.
Our coaches and playing group have shared their disappointment following the 2021 season being cut short.
With eased restrictions and border openings across the country the club and NBL1 competition is looking forward to a less interrupted season than last.
While the struggles our club has faced since 2018 have been well documented, our club has fortunately received the most certainty it has in some time gaining a licence extension within the NBL1 South Conference for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
I thank the continued hard work of our board members who have been leaders in ensuring there is a sustainable licence and pathway for young women and men within the sport of basketball at the NBL1 level here in Mount Gambier.
Further to that, I would like to note and thank the hard work of departing board members Vicki Quinn and Jarrad Sim who have provided outstanding service to our basketball over six years in their position on our board of management.
At our annual general meeting in February we welcomed newcomers to the board in Drew McKenzie and Mathew Oomenn. We look forward to working with you to provide good outcomes for the basketball club now and into the future.
As a club we have been extremely fortunate to receive the level of support that we get from the local business community. Sponsorship is the lifeblood of our basketball club and without the support of our generous sponsors competing at the level we have for 35 years would not be possible.
The continued support of our naming right partners OneFortyOne and Castec Rural Supplies has been outstanding. Both sponsors have been incredibly supportive during this time and without them it would not be possible.
I thank and congratulate the City of Mount Gambier for its continued support of our basketball club. The wider Mount Gambier community has had great vision for Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre which has been hugely supported by council. Our basketball club is excited to call it home upon its opening.
We welcome back head coaches Matt Sutton and Richard Hill at the helm of our respective teams. Both coaches and their support staff have worked extremely hard over the off season to ensure we have competitive teams take to the courts in season 2022.
Securing the signatures of core players from our women’s and men’s Pioneers teams from last season was a priority for our club. Our coaches have done an incredible job of the retention and adding the necessary complements to their rosters.
Adding restricted players in Cassandra Brown and Haleigh Reinoehl to our women’s program will provide added athleticism and depth to the roster. We welcome Cassandra and Haleigh to Mount Gambier and our basketball club. I am sure they will be great ambassadors for our town.
Once again, I thank the support of the wider business community and our fans who support our basketball club proudly. We look forward to welcoming basketball back to the Icehouse on Saturday 23rd of April against the Diamond Valley Eagles.
Pioneers Basketball Club President