Geraldton Buccaneers NBL1 West women’s team a work in progess

Lachlan AllenGeraldton Guardian
Dan Hunt is the Basketball WA Regional Development Officer for the Mid West.
Camera IconDan Hunt is the Basketball WA Regional Development Officer for the Mid West. Credit: Reuben Carder/Geraldton Guardian

How do you keep females in basketball and keep them in Geraldton as well?

That is the question facing Basketball WA’s regional development officer for the Mid West, Dan Hunt.

While the Geraldton Buccaneers kicked off their 2022 campaign this weekend in the NBL1 West men’s season, you won’t see a Buccs side take to the court in the adjacent women’s competition this season.

The prospect of a Buccs NBL1 West women’s team is still at least two years away, according to Hunt.

While planning is under way for the team, he said discussions with BWA and the Geraldton Amateur Basketball Association centered on two main issues.

“We had one (a women’s team) for a couple of years, we struggled financially and with getting enough players to make a team up,” he said.

“We probably face those same issues still, it’s just that we need a bit of time to put together how we overcome them.”

One team making strides in the women’s game is the Goldfields Giants, who will make their debut in the NBL1 West on Saturday.

However, Hunt said the Buccs are in a different situation to the Goldfields Giants.

“Kalgoorlie put a team in and they’ve got lots of sponsorship from big mines up there that help them with, in this case, women’s sports,” he said.

“A lot of our sponsorship is already taken up, you’ve only got so many corporate boxes at a Buccs game, we’ve got to find a way to give a sponsor something, there’s lots to think about.”

Hunt said finding solutions to these problems would be a key part of his role moving forward.

“The number one problem that I’m working through, is why our girls are leaving basketball?” he said.

“We’ve got a big drop-off in females playing basketball after they turn 18, they either go to Perth or drop out of sport altogether.

“My job right now is to find out why and how to change that trend, so they keep playing basketball and they stay in Geraldton.”

While reluctant to put a timeline on it, he’s optimistic the team will be up and running within two years.

“That’s in my head, Basketball WA backs it and the GABA certainly would want it but making it a reality is a little bit difficult,” he said.

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