With 500 days to go until the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup tips off, the NSW Government has announced it will invest $1 million into legacy initiatives to support the growth of the sport in NSW.
Minster for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said hosting the world’s best basketballers in Sydney would create significant benefit for the NSW visitor economy, provide entertainment for local and visiting fans, and inspire future players.
“At such an exciting time for basketball, the NSW Government is committed to ensuring the next generation of Opals have more opportunities to participate in the sport in the lead up and beyond the World Cup”, Mr Ayres said.
“I have no doubt the Australian public will be eager to soak up the atmosphere of this world-class sporting tournament featuring the best international female basketballers in Sydney, and I’m sure the 12 participating nations will feel right at home throughout the competition.
“We can’t wait to stage this fantastic event as part of the NSW Government’s 10 World Cups in 10 Years initiative, which supports our ambition for Sydney and NSW to be the events capitals of the Asia Pacific.”
Minster for Sport Geoff Lee said the legacy programs, delivered by Basketball NSW, will focus on enhancing female, Indigenous and multicultural participation before, during and after the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022.
“We’ve seen first-hand how sport brings so many benefits to communities, including health, social and economic,” Mr Lee said.
“This investment will ensure people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds have the opportunity to participate in one of the world’s most popular sports.”
Former Opal and four-time Olympic medallist Lauren Jackson said the opportunity to compete in front of a home crowd next year will help to inspire future generations of basketballers.
“The awesome thing about having a home World Cup is that it does inspire the next generation,” Ms Jackson said.
“I was one of those kids watching the ’94 World Cup and remember thinking, I am going to play for Australia one day. I am going to be there, I am going to be doing that.”
As FIBA’s flagship women’s competition, the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup is one of the most prestigious competitions in international basketball and in 2022 will feature the world’s best players from 12 of basketball’s powerhouse nations across Africa, Americas, Asia & Oceania and Europe.