Our People to Live Stronger & Longer

AH&MRC and CAHS launch joint Basketball Sponsorship with Basketball legend, Tyson Demos

Coonamble Aboriginal Health Service (CAHS) and AH&MRC have launched a  joint sponsorship venture with former Illawarra Hawks NBL player, Tyson Demos. Tyson has achieved so much in his basketball career so far, including his work with the Indigenous Community Basketball League (ICBL) and his involvement in the Health Deadly Kids project run by Illawarra AMS.

CAHS and AH&MRC’s partnership will see both organisations supporting Tyson Demos and a group of NBL All-stars to compete in Gilgandra Windmill Basketball Carnival located in Gilgandra in Central West NSW. The team will head six hours west of Wollongong, on a 500 kilometers trip, to compete in the Carnival. The team will also participate in community activities, including a youth basketball camp, to raise awareness of important health issues affecting Aboriginal communities.

The Gilgandra Windmill Basketball Carnival has been around for 44 years; Teams travel from as far as Sydney, Newcastle, Lightning Ridge, Bourke, Dubbo, to participate. The competition also attracts local teams, who register in divisions A, B or C, and verse teams from all across the state.  The Carnival, hosted by the Gilgandra Basketball Association, is so successful because it attracts teams with different skills and abilities, as well as men’s and women’s divisions. Players don’t just compete for the winning title and prize money, they’re mostly there to have fun and connect with people. The Carnival attracts players from all walks of life and in recent times, NRL stars such as Blake Ferguson, Solomon Haumono, Brent Naden, Choc Mundine, and David Peachey have taken the floor, along with many former NBL stars. The Carnival will run across three days with Tyson and his team scheduled to play some fierce competitive basketball and represent AH&MRC and CAHS as sponsors.

“The Carnival is so successful because of its grassroots origins. It’s not commercial and it’s run locally, for people to have fun, stay fit and meet new people. I think it’s an incredible initiative” – Phil Naden, CAHS CEO. Phil continued ‘ I’m excited to have AH&MRC onboard to sponsor the team and to raise the profile of this incredible initiative at a state and community level. We hope to get the word out and spread it far and wide across the bush’

While the Carnival is not Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) focused, there will be is strong ATSI representation over the weekend. From an estimated 45-50 teams, and roughly 500 players in total, 50% identify as ATSI.Tyson Demos has ties with the International basketball legend Patty Mills who initiated the Indigenous Business Australia, a professional body with links to the Indigenous Country Basketball League (ICBL).  ICBL basketball is taking off in rural and remote communities and is creating fertile ground to nurture the basketball skills and talents of our next generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.

With Tyson as an ambassador for the joint venture, CAHS and AH&MRC are confident that the weekend will help to inspire our Communities, especially young people, to get involved, play their A-game, and have fun. Both organisations look forward to meeting the teams and getting involved over the three days.

Author – Coonamble Aboriginal Health Service

For more information contact the AH&MRC Communications Team at  comms@ahmrc.org.au