Basketball will make its Commonwealth Games debut at the Melbourne Games it 2006. The announcement came today, with both men’s and women’s basketball added to the schedule as one of four team sports.

‘This is an exciting day for basketball,’ Basketball Australia Chief Executive Scott Derwin said today. ‘The Commonwealth Games are one of the world’s premier sporting events, and basketball’s entry to the Games in 2006 will provide a further boost for basketball, both in Australia and throughout the Commonwealth.

‘From an Australian point of view, the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games will see the Boomers and Opals enjoy the thrill of competing in front of their home crowd. There is nothing more exciting than challenging for a medal with the support of fellow Australians.’

Basketball Australia has been pro-active in its desire to add basketball to the Commonwealth Games program. With only four team sports able to compete at the Commonwealth Games, basketball faced competition from beach volleyball, handball, softball, touch football and water polo.

Commonwealth nations such as Canada, Nigeria, New Zealand and England have all performed well in international competition in recent years, ensuring a strong basketball competition. Australia is currently ranked second in the world in women’s basketball and fourth in men following strong performances at the Sydney Olympic Games.

For further information:
Kevin Diggerson
Tel: +61 (0)413 521 103