Kids First was established in 2007 and is a school based initiative of Kilsyth Basketball.

The Kids First program has visited 65 local schools throughout the region, conducting basketball clinics for over 60,000 children over the past three years. Complimenting this basketball program, more than 6,000 prep students have received a free basketball and 15,000 children have participated in a financial fitness program.

Bendigo Bank’s partnership with Kilsyth Basketball will ensure the Kids First program will continue in 2010 and can expand to include the Upper Yarra Valley.

Thanks to the partnership the program can continue to add value to school communities by introducing children to the great game of basketball and provide every prep student with a basketball at no cost to the school.

Kilsyth Basketball, General Manager, applauded Bendigo Bank for their continued community support and spoke of the synergies that exists within this partnership.

“Bendigo Bank and Kilsyth Basketball are both strong supporters of the local community and share a vision for developing communities away from their core business,” he said. 

“The Kids First program allows both organisations to further support entire school communities with physical and financial fitness by introducing the basics of basketball and banking,” concluded Wallace.

Bendigo Bank’s Regional Manager, Mark Nolan, outlined the importance of this partnership for not only the region’s Community Bank® branches but the entire community.

“We see supporting the Kids First program as an opportunity to help primary school children become physically active and financially fit,” said Mr Nolan.

“Bendigo Bank and Kilsyth Basketball have some unique synergies which will enable this outstanding program prosper.

“Kilsyth Basketball plays an important role within the local region and with such a strong presence of Community Bank®  branches within the Yarra Ranges, it makes our new partnership an ideal fit,” concluded Nolan.

The Kids First model has created wide spread attention with organisations, such as Basketball Australia, Basketball Victoria and the state government, increasingly interested in the program.

Minister for Sport, Recreation and Youth Affairs, James Merlino, is supportive of the initiative and was instrumental in initiating the link between Bendigo Bank and Kilsyth Basketball.

Kids First is a partnership between Kilsyth Basketball, the Warburton, Woori Yallock & District, Wandin-Seville, Yarra Junction & District, Mt Evelyn & District, Mooroolbark, East Ringwood and Heathmont Community Bank® branches and Bendigo Bank.

To register your school for the Kids First program contact Haydn Smith on 9728 1033 or