Using basketball to boost school performance

Students who love basketball will be given extra incentives to keep up regular attendance and engagement at school, thanks to the launch of Basketball Australia’s No School No Play project today.

Basketball Australia is working with some 30 schools in South Australia, Coffs Harbour, Northern Territory – and now in Western Sydney.

Federal Member for Chifley, Ed Husic officially launched the project at Plumpton High School in Sydney, promoting the benefits of engaging and maintaining attendance at school to nearly 140 students in six local high schools.

Joining him were Basketball Australia CEO and former Boomers star Larry Sengstock, former two time NBL Coach of the Year Bob Turner, Sydney Kings captain Ben Knight and Sydney Flames and US College player Ellyce Ironmonger.

Besides being present for the launch, Plumpton High students got to test their basketball skills with the professional players – with Bob Turner providing coaching advice through the game.

“Many students are motivated to play their favourite sport, and we’re using that enthusiasm to increase their engagement and performance at school,” Mr Husic said.

“Students will also get to see how nutrition and wellbeing can help boost their performance on and off the court.

“By combining the know-how of Basketball Australia with the generous support of three local Woolworths stores, we’ve been able to bring this terrific Federal Government program to local schools.  These schools will be among the first in Sydney to experience the No School No Play program.”

Besides Plumpton High, four Chifley College Campuses (Bidwill, Dunheved, Shalvey, Mt Druitt), and Plumpton’s St Clare’s Catholic High School will all participate in the program.

According to Mr Husic there’s a significant objective underpinning the fun of the program.

“As a new MP, a big focus of mine is to support measures that will see students stay on in school and training as long as they can – because we know that young people who don’t finish Year 12 or equivalent are more than twice as likely to be unemployed.

“The first simple step to keeping students in school longer is to make sure they’re engaged, interested and making the effort to attend – which is where the No School No Play program helps.”

School Education Minister, Peter Garrett said the Australian Government’s $2 million No School No Play initiative is being delivered on behalf of the Government by eight national sporting organisations, including Basketball Australia.

“We are working closely with Basketball Australia and their local project partners to create a range of rewards and incentives for participating students who improve their school attendance and engagement,” Mr Garrett said.

Basketball Australia CEO Larry Sengstock, who launched the program with Mr Husic, said the No School No Play program has proved popular in different parts of the country.

“For Basketball Australia we’re delighted to bring the program to Western Sydney, where basketball’s popular with a young support base,” Mr Sengstock said.

“We’ve found students are keen to take part in the No School No Play program because it provides a great incentive and reward: the chance to get basketball advice and guidance from people who’ve been involved in the game at its highest levels.

“There’s another good incentive for the six local schools in this program because two schools that perform best within the program have a chance to play an exhibition match held before a National Basketball League game later in the year.”

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Ed Husic MP
Federal Labor Member for Chifley

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