Undercurrent Masthead
Credit: Tim Bean Photography

Keeping girls in sport

Ashleigh Went

Participation in team sport offers so many benefits to young girls.

It provides the opportunity to establish and strengthen friendships, to build lifelong skills like resilience and tenacity, and plays a significant role in maintaining confidence and self-esteem.

These are just some of the reasons why Belinda and Tim strongly support their daughter Tilly playing Basketball. Tilly was recently selected for the U14 Girls Basketball Australian Junior Club Championships Squad – a cause for celebration among her teammates and family.

IMG_2319

“It’s the friendships that I think are the most important” says Belinda. “Tilly just loves her basketball crew – they’ve all got this common ground and they’re focussing on the same outcome, so none of that superficial teenage stuff starts up.”

It’s one of the greatest reasons that women participating in sport is so important and celebrated: the focus is taken away from what your body looks like, and instead placed on what it can achieve.

“Their time is spent building as a team, which teaches them life skills as well. They’re having to negotiate positions and establish leadership and support each other to get stronger.”

IMG_2324

While participation offers many benefits, it can also be incredibly demanding for families in terms of time and money.

“They train four hours a week, on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings. All of them also then have a club, so they’ll train once a week and have a game once a week.”

On top of her team training, Tilly also trains with Jessica Bibby and Natalie Hurst.

“That’s more for her personal development” says Belinda. “Jess and Nat both play a massive part in her mindset, and having them as mentors is just invaluable.”

Then, there’s the travel. The trip to Melbourne in October is the latest in a series of trips that the girls will take as part of their involvement in the sport. Belinda estimates that to send the entire team to Melbourne will cost about $20,000.

On top of that, Belinda and Tim choose to travel with Tilly as well, and therefore have costs associated with their own travel. For many parents, there is also costs associated with organising the care of pets in their absence.

So, they decided to fundraise.

Belinda and Tim are the duo behind The Forage. They drew on their relationships with local businesses – as well as the relationships of parents of other children in the team – to put together a raffle.

There’s a total of twelve prizes to be won, including luxury accommodation from Doma Group, dining experiences, foodie packs, wine and more. Belinda says the response from local businesses has been amazing, offering to donate prizes with no hesitation.

While the raffle is being run online, Belinda and the other Basketball parents have put the responsibility of fundraising back onto the girls, teaching them valuable lessons about the cost of their trip.

“We rostered the girls on at Belconnen Basketball Stadium last weekend for a three-hour shift. We’re pushing it back on them – they need to be a little bit responsible and understand the expense of it all. The girls will do a few more stints at Tuggeranong Stadium, and I think some of the parents are going to ask the local shops if the girls can sell tickets down there.”

Belinda says that while the sport has cost her family time and money, it’s something she hopes Tilly will continue to pursue as long as it makes her happy.

“She’s so much happier when she’s playing. Her school work is better when she’s training, there are so many reasons I want to keep her in sport. It’s such a positive environment to be in.”

IMG_2325

By purchasing a raffle ticket for less than you’d pay for a cup of coffee, you can not only help send Tilly and her team mates to Melbourne to compete, but also go in the running to win some exceptional prizes. Individual tickets are just $3 and get cheaper the more you buy – visit the teams fundraising page to show your support.

 

user

Ashleigh Went

Ashleigh Went has a passion for all things health and wellness. She’s currently furthering her studies in nutrition, but also has a Bachelor of Communication and is a qualified fitness instructor with over five years experience working in a gym. Among other things, she’s a lover of great food, coffee and fashion. She can usually be found shopping for activewear, in the gym or updating her Instagram @wentworthavenue More about the Author