The Australian School Championships will have a new home in 2021 following the announcement by Basketball Australia (BA) that the Gold Coast will host the event for the next three years.
The School Championships are the largest event on BA’s Australian Junior Championship calendar, with 168 teams and 2,108 athletes participating in the last event held in 2019.
The tournament on the Gold Coast will be played at the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre plus Carrara Indoor Sports Stadium, with this year’s event to run Sunday 28 November – Thursday 2 December.
Tourism and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the School Championships would support local jobs and deliver $7.8 million for the Gold Coast’s economic recovery.
“This November, the first of the week-long Australian School Championships (ASC) will kick off with an estimated 160 secondary school teams from around Australia competing,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“Almost 3,800 visitors are expected on the Gold Coast for what’s regarded as the most prestigious event in Australian school basketball.
“The championships will deliver a glimpse of the stars of tomorrow.
“For basketball fans, Queensland and the Gold Coast are the place to be.
“The Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre is where the city’s 2018 Commonwealth Games legacy comes to life with more than a million passing through its famous doors since the games.
“It’s because of the hard work of Queenslanders in listening to the expert health advice of the Chief Health Officer that we’re able to hold major COVID-Safe basketball events for the Gold Coast’s economic recovery.”
Open to three different age groups (Under-20, Under-17 and Under-15) across men’s and women’s tournaments, with games catering for both elite and amateur level competition across 20 divisions including the Championship Division, which pits the best schools from each state and territory against each other.
BA Executive General Manager Basketball Paul Maley said the sport’s governing body was excited that one of its marquee grassroots events was heading to the Gold Coast for the very first time.
“We are delighted to be taking the Australian School Championships to a new part of the country for the next three years and thank the Queensland Government, Tourism and Events Queensland, Major Events Gold Coast and the City of Gold Coast for their passionate support of the Australian basketball pathway.
“These championships represent the pinnacle of school basketball in Australia, providing the only opportunity for public and private secondary school-based teams to compete at a national level against teams from across the country.
“The popularity of basketball continues to rise amongst Australia’s youth and participation within schools continues to grow at a rapid rate. This progress year on year is reflected in the numbers we are seeing attend the Australian School Championships and after the 2020 event had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, we can’t wait to get back out on court in November on the Gold Coast.”
In the past, the Australian School Championships have brought some of our brightest talent to the fore including Australian Boomers Dante Exum and Patty Mills, Chemist Warehouse Australian Opals Lauren Jackson AO and Tessa Lavey as well as rising stars including Josh Giddey and Jazmin Shelley.
Donna Gates, Deputy Mayor – City of Gold Coast said: “Our city’s events calendar continues to expand and importantly, diversify,” she explained.
“Securing these major schools’ championships for the next three years will showcase everything our city has to offer so far as sporting facilities, accommodation, administrative support and transport.
“I applaud organisers for giving our city the green light and encourage everyone to take time to witness the very best youth basketball talent in our country.’’
Jan McCormick, CEO – Major Events Gold Coast said: “Securing the Australian School Championships for the next three years is a wonderful boost for our city’s economy and a fantastic opportunity to showcase the exceptional facilities at Carrara to a new national championship. National school sporting events traditionally attract strong visitation, and this event is no exception with thousands of players and supporters traveling to the Gold Coast.
“It’s the first time the Australian School Championships will be held on the Gold Coast and the wonderful tourism offerings the city has to offer will enhance everyone’s experience during the event ensuring continued support for the Gold Coast as the preferred destination for the Championships.”
Managed by Basketball Australia, the Australian School Championships are open to all Australian secondary schools with team registrations for this year’s event to open in July.
The dates for the 2022 and 2023 tournaments will be announced in due course.