MILDURA Basketball Association will this season welcome a new group of competitors, with an under eight division introduced to the fixture.

Among those who will take the court are Daisy, 5, and Bohdi, 4, who will pull on the Irymple Tigers uniform.

Natasha Smallwood, MBA general manager administration, said the under eight competition had been run by the association for a few years now, but this year the decision was made to open it up for clubs to enter teams.

“There was a growing number of underage players in the club Under 10 teams as their older siblings were already aligned with a club,” Smallwood explained.

“We are hoping this will grow the competition and enable kids to start playing earlier.

“It is a great stepping stone from the Aussie Hoops program which helps to teach the kids the foundation skills.”

Tim Welsh, vice president at the Irymple Tigers Basketball Club, said young children have so much energy and vibrancy and it is great to be able to channel it into club level basketball.

“Mildura is recognised as a strong sporting community and starting children younger can only improve on that,” Welsh said.

“Our under eight’s program will target basic basketball skills, game play and teamwork.

“We hope as they transition into our Under 10’s age group, they are competent and confident with basic skills.

“Now more than ever, we need to keep our little human’s physically active connected to their peers.

“Our club understands that there will likely be ongoing disruptions and restriction with COVID, but we have made the choice to continue planning, preparing and executing our pre-season training and tryouts.”

Welsh said the club is confident that with the current committee and player line up, the Tigers can better their hugely successful 2020-21 season, although new players are always welcome.

“If you have a fledgling baller who loves to have fun and learn a new skill, then checkout our Facebook page for details on how to register for our pre-season,” he added.

Interested players can also email irympletigers1965@hotmail.com

ABOVE: Daisy, 5, and Bohdi, 4, can’t wait to get onto the basketball court.