Open letter from Ross Wignell

March 19, 2024 March 19, 2024

Open letter from Ross Wignell Open letter from Ross Wignell Open letter from Ross Wignell

Dear CDBA Member,

With the 2024 basketball year well and truly under way, I felt it timely to update you on what’s happening at Camberwell Basketball in what’s shaping up as the biggest and best year yet for our Association.

Camberwell Dragons
After attracting more than 1100 young athletes to our tryouts late last year – a record number for our program – I’m proud and delighted to say the Camberwell Dragons junior representative program has continued its impressive growth and on-court progress this season while remaining true to the family culture that has been a cornerstone of our club.

We have 56 teams competing in the VJBL, with a club record of 10 having qualified for the Victorian Championship (VC) division. VC is recognised as the highest level of junior club competition in Australia and ours is one of only five programs to be represented by 10 or more teams at that level this year.

We are enormously proud of this accomplishment, and I’m pleased to say our progress has been widely recognised and applauded within Victorian basketball circles. A sincere thanks to the players, coaches, administrators, volunteers, parents and Partners who have made, and continue to make, such valuable contributions to our program. We don’t take any of it for granted.

It is also shaping as another exciting season for our senior Dragons teams in the Big V competition. Our Men’s and Women’s Youth League teams opened their respective campaigns last week, while our Championship Men’s and Women’s teams will step out for the first time in 2024 after the Easter break.

All four teams will be represented by some of the talented young players in our region – many of whom have advanced through the Dragons’ junior program. With home games this season at Balwyn High School and Boroondara Sports Complex, I urge you to take the opportunity to experience the size, power and speed of Big V basketball up close. You won’t be disappointed.

Community Basketball League
Our domestic competition, the Community Basketball League, is also thriving, with 524 teams competing on courts across Melbourne’s inner-east during the 2023-24 season. As I write this, we are just over three days away from our much-anticipated grand final day and I take this opportunity to wish all teams who’ve advanced to the last day of the season the best of luck.

As we look to grow the league and provide more opportunities for more players in our area, the CBL will launch competition for Under 8 Boys and Girls teams in the 2024 winter season, beginning April 20. This initiative is an important step forward for the league and its clubs, and vital to the continued growth and health of the game.

Your Game, Your Choice
While one of the great attractions of the CBL is that it allows children to enjoy the game with friends and families close to home, I’m also aware a number of junior Dragons players continue to develop their game with clubs in the Eastern Districts Junior Basketball Association (EDJBA), which is fantastic. I, too, played in that competition growing up, and can attest to the strength and quality of the competition.

With a focus squarely on encouraging coach and player development, I believe it is imperative that individuals are free to play junior domestic basketball with their club of choice. One of the special things about our sport is it allows friends and families to remain connected by “belonging” to the same domestic team.

Connecting With Our Community
The Association has never been more connected with our community and I’m proud of the relationships we’ve established with local schools, community leaders, businesses, families and sports industry experts.

Dragons coaches conducted 103 clinics for more than 1500 students at 32 primary and secondary schools in 2023 and we’re well on track to exceeding those numbers this year.

The Association has recently been awarded out-of-school venue management rights to the gymnasium and all-weather sports fields at Kew High School, we engage regularly with local state and federal government representatives, and this year, with the assistance of sports industry professionals, established “Outside the Lines” – a free series of workshops and seminars for CDBA members interested in pursuing a non-playing career in sports.

We’ve also established a vibrant and successful weekly Walking Basketball program for older members of the community and have welcomed a new range of Partners in 2024. We’re also making plans to better engage with the local business community and look forward to sharing some exciting news in that space with you soon.

In closing, I thank you for your continued support of Camberwell Basketball and its programs. Enjoy the excitement and colour of the upcoming CBL and EDJBA grand finals, throw your support behind our four Dragons senior teams in the Big V, and have fun on the road if you’re associated with one of the 56 Camberwell teams travelling west for the annual Adelaide Easter Classic.

For more information, please email me at [email protected] or our Communications Department at [email protected]

Yours faithfully,

Ross Wignell – CEO, Camberwell Basketball

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