5,000 signatures reached
To: Mark Scott, Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Cooperation (ABC)
Keep the Australian Womens Basketball League on the ABC
Dear Mark Scott, Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Cooperation (ABC), on behalf of the Australian community, we want the ABC to ensure the continuation of live broadcasting of the Australian Women’s Basketball League.
Why is this important?
The recent announcement of the ABC cuts has resulted in the end of WNBL women’s basketball matches being shown live on television.This will have a significant negative impact on women’s basketball in general, the participation numbers of current and future generations of young women and international medals for Australia.
The ABC has broadcasted the WNBL since its inception in 1981, a 35 year old partnership.
The impact of shutting down the broadcasting will have a negative flow on effect at both the participation and elite level of this sport. Women’s Basketball has had a strong history of being one of the top leagues in the world and producing world class athletes such as Penny Taylor, Lauren Jackson and Michelle Timms, to name just a few.
Basketball played a very important part in my young life. It developed me as a person teaching me that no matter where you come from you can achieve, learn and grow. It also quite simply kept me out of trouble in those early years providing me with inspiring role models to look up to. I wanted to be like them, strong, athletic, independent and determined. Basketball is more than a game. We simply cannot underestimate the important long standing partnership with the ABC and how this in itself has increased both access and opportunities to young women like me across the country. To lose this would be devastating.
Three generations of Australian Olympic Captains, Jenny Cheesman, Michelle Timms and Lauren Jackson are signatories to this petition. A significant statement from long standing leaders in the sport. The Australian Opals have provided Australia and the Australian Government a World Championship and multiple Olympic medals. It is one of the highest participation sports in the country. The televising of the sport has provided a substantial contribution to the professionalism of Women’s Sport in general in Australia. Though more importantly and specifically the broadcasting has provided essential funds through sponsors and fans to support the Women’s league. This league that provides amazing role models for young women, a pathway for our future young stars and the incredible viewing of some of the most athletic and dynamic women in sport today. We have world class athletes at our doorstep and they will not stay if the league cannot support them and for good reason.
Australian Women’s Basketballers get paid very little compared to male sports and other Women’s International Leagues. They are required to commit, for most, full time to their sport and to survive on very little. Without the fans and sponsorship interest, athletes will struggle to earn what little pocket money they do to play the game they love. Without the dollars, the game won’t be able to attract the world-class players to the competition. Without access to athletes, role models for our young girls disappear and the game fails to grow.
So will it take a drop in medal performance at the next Olympics for the government and the ABC to care? What will it take?
THIS CUT WILL SEE WOMEN’S SPORTS TAKE A MASSIVE STEP BACKWARDS, REDUCING ACCESS AND PUBLICITY FOR THE SPORTS TO LEVELS NOT SEEN SINCE THE 1970’s.
We ask that the ABC reconsiders their decision to cut the WNBL live broadcasting to ensure the sports future.