Chappell named as new Geelong United chair

April 15, 2024 BY

Geelong United Basketball has announced Jessica Chappell has its new chairperson. Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

GEELONG United Basketball (GUB) has announced its new chairperson leading up to the tonight’s NBL1 home opener in Jessica Chappell, who comes into the role excited to take the association into a new chapter.

Chappell, who first joined GUB’s Board in November of last year, was announced as the new head of the Board this month replacing outgoing chairperson Andy Mathers for the 2024 season.

“The appointment is definitely one of excitement for me personally,” Ms Chappell said.

“It wasn’t something I was expecting when I put my hand up to join the Board of Directors last November, but it’s something I am absolutely grabbing with both hands.

“It’s an exciting time for sport in Geelong, it’s an exciting time for basketball, and it’s particularly exciting for women’s basketball.”

Geelong United and Ms Chappell enter 2024 primed for a successful year, following the implementation of Wheelchair Basketball, Walking Basketball, the expansion of the association’s Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) program to more than 600 athletes, and two NBL1 sides ready to make a push for finals basketball this season.

Geelong born and raised, Ms Chappell has been involved with basketball and netball from a young age, competing at an elite level in the latter.

Ms Chappell’s daughter, Meadow, is also a player within the Geelong United system as part of the representative program’s Under 16’s age group and is a member of Pivot City Basketball Club at the domestic competition level.

Ms Chappell wears several hats across the Barwon region, serving as the acting corporate affairs manager at the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority, an advisory committee member with Barwon Health, and is an ambassador for DonateLife, being an organ transplant recipient herself due to earlier health challenges.

Further to ongoing projects related to female basketball in the region, Ms Chappell told this publication discussions are still ongoing for a new WNBL license to be allocated to Geelong, stating the region is craving elite-level sport.

“Geelong United are really well-positioned in terms of not only attracting interest at an elite level, but also understanding that we’ve come from an environment where we are built upon two extraordinary basketball associations and merged as one.

“Looking to the future, we know to continue to grow the sport, that means we need to provide a pathway from our junior/community programs, through our VJBL programs, and then through our Big V and NBL1 programs.

“Then when we are performing at a high standard at those levels, there’s a natural progression and desire to hold a WNBL or NBL license.”

Ms Chappell will be supported in her new role as chairperson by reappointed deputy chairperson and popular club figure Mike Deam.