BALLARAT BASKETBALL HISTORY
The Ballarat Basketball Association Inc. was incorporated in 1966 and then built its own freehold facility in 1969 on the corner of Grevillea Road and Dowling Street in Wendouree.
The Association has successfully managed and operated an ever expanding and diverse sporting complex since. The venue has undergone major upgrades in 1987, 1992, 1997, 2004 and 2006.
The Association currently services significant borrowings, which have been used to maintain the Minerdome venue to current standards. All profits from the Association are returned to debt reduction, maintenance and stadium facility improvements.
The Mars Minerdome (4 courts) and Minerdome Social Club facilities cater for up to 6,000 members per week across a broad range of social, recreational and entertainment activities.
Regular recreational activities hosted by the Association at the Mars Minerdome, Minerdome Sports Club and Wendouree Sports & Events Centre as follows:
- Basketball competitions for juniors from U/10 to Masters level seniors. More than 40 teams play on a weekly basis.
- Active’s Club for adults over 50 from the Wendouree area who use the Minerdome Sports Club as their base for a broad range of activities. This club currently has 80 members.
- Support for players with disabilities via the Prospectors who play in local competitions and with the Victorian Special Olympics Program.
- Daytime basketball programs.
- Primary school basketball competition for more than 50 local schools throughout terms 2 and 3 each year.
- Primary and secondary school development programs and skills clinics throughout terms 1 and 2 each year. .
- Netball competitions for more than 40 teams at Junior and senior level.
The Association has further extended its commitment to educational and development programs for children and young adults in the Ballarat region through its managerial position of BRP/Elite Programs Administrator. This role also takes over full responsibility for all Coaching programs including overseeing the Director of Coaching and all BRP Coaches.
Ballarat Basketball has commenced a program to establish an Education and Accreditation Centre for Western Victoria based at WSEC. This will be enable smaller associations in this region to connect with a range of coach and volunteer services without the need to always use Melbourne as the base.
MINERS & RUSH HISTORY
Backed by a flourishing local basketball program and facilities at the forefront of regional basketball associations, it was announced in 1985 that Ballarat would lodge an application to join the South East Basketball League (Today’s SEABL) recognised among the major Australian competitions.
Basketball Ballarat formed a separate independent club to arrange the new venture and the Elite Teams department was established. The team chosen to represent Ballarat was called the Ballarat Miners and in 1986 the Miners were admitted into both the Victorian Basketball Association (VBA) Division 1 and the South East Basketball League (SEBL).
Through the passion and commitment of those who founded the Miners, coupled with the generous support of the Ballarat community a basketball era began and inevitable success was to follow.
In their first nine years of VBA competition the Miners only missed out on the finals twice. Overall across those nine years the Miners won 147 of 219 games with a winning percentage of 67%. Undeniably the most memorable victory was in the 1989 Grand Final when for the first time in the VBA’s history, a regional team won the title. This title came at the expense of the Melbourne Tigers, one of Australia’s premier teams lead by coach Lindsey Gaze and star player Andrew Gaze.
The SEBL changed identities a few times over the years as it moved from the SEBL to the SEABL. It didn’t really matter what the league was calling itself, the one consistency was that when the Miners hit the floor the odds were on their side. Leading up to this year the Miners won 338 of their 475 games (71%) the highest winning percentage of any team in the SEABL.
Shortly after the elevation of the Miners to VBA Div. 1 and the SEBL, the senior female representative team in the Ballarat Lady Miners was formed. Operating independently of the men’s program for some years, it was decided that an amalgamation of the two senior teams was an appropriate action.
The already enormously successful Lady Miners joined the Miners in the new millennium and a united men and women’s representative Club was the result. The Lady Miners incredible record of success boasts 8 consecutive Victorian titles and they now compete in the SEABL alongside the Miners.
It has always been the focus of the Miners & Rush program to provide local basketball players with the opportunity to compete at the highest level obtainable by the club and the Ballarat community. Providing a flagship for Basketball Ballarat through high profile players and positive role models for juniors to look up to is a valuable community service that we are proud to provide.