Screaming for space

Sunbury Basketball Association training camp on Thursday, April 20 (supplied).

Zoe Moffatt

Sunbury Basketball Association (SBA) is calling for more courts amid having to cut down training times and increase waitlists.

With the winter junior domestic competition scheduled for May, SBA is set to begin the new season plagued with court capacity issues.

SBA president Darren Watkins said court capacity has become a bigger issue this season due to an increase in teams and decrease in external venues.

“It becomes very difficult to help kids improve both individually and as a team in such a short amount of time [spent training],” Mr Watkins said.

“It is simply impossible for us as an association to help make the best possible players in 45 minutes on a shared court.”

Mr Watkins said there is talent within Sunbury to grow the representative program but capacity issues are hindering this development.

“We currently have 24 representative teams and next year I don’t think (without new courts) we could add any more teams,” he said.

“[This] means there’s less opportunities for kids to learn and develop a higher level of basketball.”

Mr Watkins said he is not confident there will be new courts in the near future due to the current government debt.

“Worse case [this issue] will drive people to pursue other associations or sports,” he said.

“Without new courts in Sunbury the [SBA] is at a standstill … we can maintain the current numbers and programs that we have but we are not able to continue to grow.”

Mr Watkins said the association has had productive meetings with all three levels of government within the last three months, and were advised to approach the council as the first step.

Hume council said the need for a secondary stadium in the Sunbury south growth area was identified in council’s indoor sports plan 2021-2031.

Council said it is in continued consultation with residents about future developments and it will keep advocating for funding from the state government that could build a secondary stadium in future.