State MP James Merlino – Minister for Sport, Recreation and Youth Affairs visited the Kilsyth Sports Centre last week to check out the facilities and discuss possible funding for two new courts on the Liverpool Road site.
Kilsyth and Mountain District Basketball Association (K&MDBA) are currently in the early planning and finance stages for a proposed two court extension to the facility.
Merlino played basketball at the stadium in his junior years and remembers the old entrance into court 3. He was amazed at the work of the K&MDBA in joining the centre tenants (Basketball, Badminton and Table Tennis) through the $2.2 million foyer. The foyer was predominantly funded by the K&MDBA and has become a major community resource.
The Minister met with General Manager Dick Thomas, Board Member Hugh McMenamin and Basketball Development Manager Ben Turner to discuss the facility and any state government support which may become available.
“My department is currently looking at possible funding options for this great facility,” Mr Merlino said.
Mr. Thomas thanked Minister Merlino for making the time to come out to the coalface to see and understand the situation, “we are looking forward to creating a strong partnership with the State Government and Shire of Yarra Ranges to bring this project to life and deliver for the game of basketball in the Yarra Valley”.
Merlino praised the efforts of the K&MDBA in providing sport and recreation opportunities for the local community especially the Kids First Program for local schools. He was pleased to become the No.1 ticket holder for the Kilsyth Cobras in 2008 and is looking forward to watching the SEABL action next winter.
“This is a wonderful centre that is serving its community well and encouraging young Victorians to main a healthy and active lifestyle,” Mr Merlino said.
K&MDBA currently have over 1000 teams participating at Kilsyth and Lilydale stadiums and are nearing capacity. This will be the first major basketball development at Kilsyth since 1984. The news full size courts will enable the association to increase basketball participation and development whilst offering increased opportunities for other sports including netball.
“This redevelopment will be a major benefit to the game of basketball in the the Yarra Valley. It will enable us not only to increase participation but to host Junior State and National Championships as well as ABA National Finals. These events would provide a major economic boost to the local communities,” said Mr. Thomas.
Kilsyth Basketball welcomes James on board for the 2008 SEABL season as the NO.1 ticket holder and looked forward to the local, state and federal government support in this project.
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