Panthers ready to pounce on new players

August 11, 2023 BY

Young panthers: Layla, Taj and Jett are all on the ball. Photos: ASH JOHNSON

HEATHCOTE Panthers are looking for junior basketballers for the upcoming summer season.

Club president Alan Butler said anyone born in 2009 or later would be eligible to play for teams in the under 10 to under 16 age groups.

“We’re looking for under 18s as well if people are interested,” he said. “If we can form teams we will do so for any age group, up to and including adults.

“We usually play in Bendigo as a competition, but we train in Heathcote.

“Young children can come along and try out and if they can’t make it to Bendigo for games, we’re more than happy to just have them do the training so they can join in the fun.”

Mr Butler said the Heathcote Panthers pride themselves on being an inclusive club.

“Our culture is based around making sure that participation is front and centre,” he said.

“Participation with no exclusions, although obviously in competitions we’re restricted with age exclusions and that’s something that’s out of our hands.

“But for training purposes, and also for playing purposes, we do not allow anybody to say that they’re better than others.

“It’s something we really enforce, that there are to be absolutely no heroes involved, it’s all about the team.

“It’s a team game and you learn to play as a team.”

Mr Butler said the pandemic had helped shape the current ethos of the club.

“We’ve gone from being focused on a certain group that’s playing well, and is obviously very sports minded, to guys that are just wanting to get in and have a crack,” he said.

“We’ve got young kids who would probably not participate in any other sport.”

The club does still produce promising players though, with four youngsters selected recently for the Bendigo Braves junior development squad.

“We’ve excelled with how many referees we’ve produced too,” Mr Butler said. “Over the last five years we’ve had about 10.”

“I have a big focus on that side things, I’m heavily involved with Bendigo basketball as far as refereeing goes.

“I’m head of the technical official committee, I’m a referee and referee supervisor.”

Expressions of interest for the summer season close on Friday 25 August, for more information call Alan Butler on 0418 589 020.


Chase, Lewis and Sebastian line up for some tips from coach Wally Butler.