On Saturday, June 3, Basketball SA held its inaugural 2017 Premier League Women’s Round.

2017 saw the introduction of a Women’s Round to acknowledge and celebrate the great women across our sport. Basketball in South Australia has long enjoyed the strong involvement of females. Be it as players, coaches, referees, officials, administrators, or volunteers, females have actively contributed to the maintenance and growth of basketball in South Australia. 

The Premier League Women’s Round provided the perfect opportunity for the basketball community to acknowledge and celebrate these inspirational women. Throughout the last week in the lead up to the event, the Premier League Facebook page and the Basketball SA website shared a number of biographies of the female legends of our sport. 

For the event, we also partnered with local organisation, the Zahra Foundation, to utilise the reach of our basketball community to help raise awareness of, and show support for, their work in assisting South Australian women and children affected by domestic and family violence. 

The Premier League and Basketball SA social media saw plenty of pink and purple in the lead up to the event, along with a special #standingtallfordv campaign. The social media campaign was accompanied by a piggy back competition which asked females within the reach of our sport to combine their strength to stand taller together. 

It was fantastic to see our own Premier League clubs get behind this initiative. The campaign even managed to reach other sporting communities with photos from netball, soccer, and football clubs also being sent through. 

On the night of the Women’s Round the Zahra Foundation organised volunteers to be present at each home venue to collect donations. In addition to the generosity of the general public, Basketball SA also donated $1000 to the Foundation of which we then put a challenge to the ten Premier League clubs to beat our donated sum. We have already received donations from a few of the participating clubs and we are excited to see how much we were able to come together to raise for the cause. 

Basketball SA Competitions Manager Melanie Luksa says she is looking forward to working with clubs in growing female participation and continue to highlight the amazing achievements of females within our sport. 

“The introduction of the women’s round has been a fantastic opportunity to highlight females in our sport, engage with the community and see the clubs working together for a worthy cause.” 

“It has been inspiring to read about the incredible impact women have made, and continue to make in basketball, not just as players but also as coaches and administrators.”  

It was also incredibly pleasing to see the referees get behind the initiative wearing Zahra Foundation polo tops in place of their usual referee uniform for the competition’s ‘Match of the Round’. Pink also hung from their necks as they wore special lanyards and whistles to show their support for the Women’s Round and the charitable cause. 

It was also a special night with three female referees taking on the Men’s Premier League ‘Match of the Round’ between the West Adelaide Bearcats and the North Adelaide Rockets. Congratulations and thank you to Vanessa Jevlin, Donna Hall, and Danika Jolley. 

Photo Credit: AllStar Photos

Basketball SA would like to thank all of the Premier League clubs for supporting this new initiative. From the small donations in passing on the night, to circulating social media with photos in pink and purple, we as a league were #standingtallfordv. 

A special thank you to the West Adelaide Bearcats for not only hosting us for the presentation on Saturday night, but also for hosting a huge triple header weekend including the first of the Adelaide Thunder’s NWBL matches for the 2017 season. 

The Zahra Foundation have been fantastic to partner with for this event and we are proud to support the amazing work they do on a daily basis through our donation and the increased awareness. Thank you to Kylie and her volunteers from the Foundation for organising the Zahra Foundation’s presence at the venues, and for the social media support in the lead up to, and throughout the event. 

Finally, thank you to the Premier League’s Official Photographer, AllStar Photos, and our media partner, Austral Sports Media for helping us capture the event. A special mention to Dale Fletcher from the West Adelaide Bearcats for his guest commentary on our live stream coverage. 

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