Molten Female Local Champions Program offers once in a lifetime opportunity for Australian basketball volunteers

Molten Female Local Champions Program offers once in a lifetime opportunity for Australian basketball volunteers

Molten Female Local Champions Program offers once in a lifetime opportunity for Australian basketball volunteers

The FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup partner has made the dreams come true for Aussie basketball coaches and volunteers as part of the Molten Female Local Champions Program.

Three lucky women, Mirrin Rashleigh (Gladstone, Qld), Jacinta Govind (Central Coast, NSW) and Josie Taoi (Western Sydney, NSW), were selected from a national search to recognise their efforts in promoting and growing female basketball participation within their local communities.

The winners spent three days at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Sydney with the opportunity to attend the FIBA Global Women in Leadership Forum, spend time with FIBA Hall of Fame legend Michele Timms AM, meet other coaches and administrators as well as went behind the scenes at the World Cup.

Molten Head of Brand Marketing, Noa Hasegawa, said: “The Molten Female Local Champions program was designed to recognise coaches and volunteers who have championed female participation in the community.

“Together with FIBA and the Local Organising Committee we wanted to offer the winners the chance to meet and network with others in the industry to be able to get ideas and inspiration that they can implement in their own local region. We also celebrated the incredible work they have already achieved.

“We have seen a huge success with the Molten Female Local Champions program and we are eager to work with FIBA to see this program rolled out internationally in conjunction with other FIBA major events,” he said.

Jacinta Govind from Central Coast Basketball (NSW) said to be selected as the Molten Female Local Champion was the highest honour. Govind not only volunteers with her local Association, but is also a co-host of the podcast ‘Shooting the Breeze’, which is dedicated to women’s basketball.

“I know there’s a lot of other female local champions from around Australia whether regional or rural that are working day to day, mostly in a voluntary capacity, to do as much as they can for their community.

“So, to be a part of the Molten Female Local Champions program that represents that kind of group of women, it is an honour.  We have learnt so much from this experience and hopefully can implement it into our own Clubs and influence females in our local basketball community to increase participation and create a good sense of community.

“It’s really important to give all the females out there, working hard as volunteers in their local communities, the platform and recognition they deserve. I know a lot of people doing voluntary work whether it’s a manager of a team, taking tickets at door to a game or refereeing - sometimes that hard work can go unnoticed.

“I think an initiative like the Molten Female Local Champions program will start to put the spotlight on the unsung heroes in our basketball community,” she said.

Josie Taoi, who created the Promote the Goat Uplift Inc, said basketball has given her so much in her life and to be part of the Molten Female Local Champions program was truly incredible.

“The Molten Female Local Champions program is amazing and has inspired me to use my platform to do this for other young girls, so thank you Molten and FIBA for this opportunity. I am very grateful and honoured.

“From my experience, I was a bit lost growing up and basketball was my saving grace. It kept me with the right people and friends, kept me off the streets, it’s been super positive in my life. I have been able to travel the world, I am still friends with lots of people and seeing their kids grow up, it made me realise how fortunate you can be if you play a sport not just basketball. I want to show the young people what positive impact it can be on your life.

“There have been so many positive highlights of what I have learnt in the [Global Women in Leadership] forum, especially what women are doing in Papua New Guinea for their community and the She Hoops program relates to what I am trying to do.

“She Hoops hit home for me but I would say meeting the Australian Opals at the reunion and going through the throwbacks videos, it took me back to when I was growing up and I looked up to these young women who I got to rub shoulders with yesterday and got to tell them how much they meant to me then but also now, that was really special,” she said.

Mirrin Rashleigh from Gladstone Amateur Basketball Association (QLD) is a volunteer coach of the U12 Girls Rep Coach and U18 girls coach, a Queensland State League player and Former Club President.

Rashleigh said the opportunity that Molten and FIBA has provided her is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“To be rewarded for all the hard work and volunteering hours that I have been doing was really fantastic. The opportunities we have been given whilst being here at the World Cup has been absolutely amazing and I’m just still ecstatic.

“The [Global Women in Leadership] forum presented some great initiatives that show what we can do to get more women and create inclusiveness for the game. So, I am going to take that back and try to include some different types of programs to get more people playing,” she said.