I spoke in parliament yesterday about the 'Big Bang Ballers' program, working with disadvantaged youth in Australia and overseas.
Big Bang Ballers, 16 August 2012
Last Saturday night it was my pleasure to attend the Gunners versus Bandits game at the ACT Basketball Centre, part of the South East Australian Basketball League competition. I was invited there as a guest of Tony Jackson, the CEO of Basketball ACT, because it was a special evening with all proceeds going to the Big Bang Ballers campaign to use basketball to fight youth poverty and social disadvantage around the world. In Afghanistan the Big Bang Ballers are currently providing basketball courts to young Afghani girls who until recently could not even consider sport, let alone play it.
I was speaking there at the game with Mark White, the coach of the Gunners, and he talked about the concept of shorter basketball players needing to ‘play above their height’. To me it is a great metaphor for the way in which all of us should be trying to play a little above our height. I pay tribute to Pierre Johannessen, the CEO of the Big Bang Ballers, for all that he has done not just in developing countries but also in Australia. Natalie Porter, the former Olympian, was assisting a group of young Canberrans in Night Hoops. Night Hoops is aimed at at-risk Canberrans, some of them recent migrants from Sudan, providing them with an opportunity to learn valuable basketball skills and leadership skills and to get a good meal at the same time.
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