Researchers from the University of Queensland have joined forces with Indigenous Basketball Australia (IBA), a not-for-profit organization founded by NBA champion Patty Mills and his parents, Uncle Benny and Aunty Yvonne Mills. The collaboration aims to enhance sporting, educational, and cultural pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people through grassroots basketball programs. Dr. Keane Wheeler, a proud Ngarabal man from UQ’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, emphasized the objective of using sport participation to improve health outcomes. The partnership focuses on developing programs to help IBA players, coaches, and officials excel at the highest level, with an emphasis on recruitment, retention, and progression.
Dr. Wheeler highlighted the broader goal of empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to address social issues tied to sport participation and community living, such as encouraging school attendance and building resilience. The intention is to co-design culturally responsive physical movement programs, aiming to make a positive impact on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Patty Mills emphasized that this collaboration with UQ would further IBA’s mission of providing pathways for participation and success for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, aligning with Dr. Wheeler’s expertise and passion in utilizing sport and exercise to enhance health and wellbeing within these communities. The UQ-IBA collaboration was officially announced during the 17U National Indigenous Basketball Tournament held in Brisbane.
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Photo Courtesy The University of Queensland
Courtesy The University of Queensland