NEWS – Sports Foundation moves to save Adelaide Lightning WNBL club
20 May 2015
The Australian Sports Foundation is working with Adelaide Lightning to ensure it participates in the 2015-16 Women’s National Basketball League, and to continue to provide a pathway for aspirational young female basketball players in South Australia.
Adelaide Lightning needs to raise $150,000 to retain its WNBL playing licence for the upcoming season, and the ASF is now assisting the club with an online fundraising platform and advice after Basketball Australia granted the club a deadline extension to generate the required money.
Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.
Australian Sports Foundation Chief Executive, Patrick Walker, said the fundraising was more than just ensuring Adelaide Lightning plays in the 2015-16 WNBL competition.
“It is more about keeping open a professional pathway for young South Australian female basketball players,” he said.
“Without this pathway, aspirational young female basketballers will either have to move interstate or go overseas. There is also the potential for a reduction in participation numbers at a grassroots level due to no elite team playing in the state,” he added.
Adelaide Lightning has traditionally been one of Australia’s best WNBL clubs and has produced Olympians and Australian Opal players such as Rachael Sporn, Jenny Whittle, Carla Boyd, Jo Hill, Kristi Harrower, Erin Phillips, Marina Moffa, Tracey Beatty and Suzy Batkovic-Brown.
“We want to ensure that more South Australian female basketball players are given the opportunity to follow in their footsteps,” said Mr Walker.
During the club’s decorated history, Adelaide Lightning has reached the play-offs in 19 of 23 years in the WNBL and won the WNBL Championship five times in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998 and 2008.
Former championship-winning Head Coach, Jan Stirling, went on to coach the Australian team at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games.