Bellarine Storm to make program history in Round 1

April 4, 2024 BY

This season's Bellarine Storm men's squad led by head coach Luke Beuglehall (front centre). Photo: SUPPLIED

HISTORY will be made on Saturday night when the Bellarine Storm senior women’s team steps onto the court against Wyndham at Bellarine Secondary College.

Bellarine’s women’s team will make its Championship Division debut tomorrow night for the first time in the club’s history, playing in the top tier of Big V Basketball’s senior competition structure.

Storm head coach Tim Sanderson said the journey to reaching the top level of Big V basketball dates back to 2018 when the association first formed its senior women’s program.

“The club has been aiming for this for a long time,” Sanderson said.

“Our men’s team made this jump last year and since we first started putting this program together, the goal was always to play at the highest level we could, and when the opportunity was there, it was something we were going to jump at.

“The group we have now already is going to be competitive, there will be a couple of standout teams who will be true tests like Wyndham in Round 1, but we’ve done the yards in the lower divisions.

“Now it’s about meeting the challenge and taking this club to a new level.”

Major offseason acquisitions include Youth League 1 MVP candidate Courtney Strait making the move over from Craigieburn, and the signing of Bridgette Rettstadt, fresh off two seasons of senior basketball in Greece and already impressing her new coach.

A large percentage of the squad will continue on from 2023, with Chantelle Hall, Georgia Varley, Olivia Vert, Olivia Osborne, Jamie Crombie, and Lucy Howard all recommitting for 2024.

“We haven’t really lost anyone, it’s going to be a pretty good squad, a lot of consistency and a lot of good chemistry from what I’ve seen through the few practice games we’ve had at this stage,” Sanderson said.

“Wyndham will be a good test first up, they have been the standard in Championship for the last few seasons, so to have them in Round I think will be a great opportunity for our group as we navigate this new division.”

Bellarine and Wyndham officially begin their Big V campaigns on Saturday at 5.30pm.