home Basketball, WNBL The WNBL launches inaugural league-wide Indigenous Round

The WNBL launches inaugural league-wide Indigenous Round

Kasey Symons speaks to head of the WNBL, Christy Collier-Hill about how the league is working to include more recognition and celebration of Indigenous Australians.

The WNBL Indigenous Round logo designed by Tamara May Murray.

In 2022, the WNBL is holding its inaugural Indigenous round in Round 13. But you might have already seen some teams sporting their sensational Indigenous designed guernseys as clubs committed to celebrating the contribution of First Nations people to the game of basketball. 

“The round was a collective initiative between the league, clubs and players,” says newly appointed head of the WNBL, Christy Collier-Hill. “There are a number of clubs—Canberra and Sydney—who had been delivering their own Indigenous celebrations in season, and it was identified as something all clubs would like to do.” 

As such a league-wide initiative was born and Collier-Hill says the intention is to keep this kind of recognition and celebration going. 

“We’re committed to it being a regular part of the league moving forward.” 

As part of this year’s round, the WNBL aligned with Indigenous artist, Tamara May Murray, a proud member of the Barkindji and Maraura tribe on her mother’s side, and the Yorta Yorta and Dhudaroah tribes on her father’s side to create a special piece of artwork for the league. The artwork is titled: ‘The only colours we know are the colours of the game’. Collier-Hill explains that the artwork depicts “the essence of basketball and the unity of the game that brings us all together.”

For the upcoming celebrations, it was important for the league and its clubs to continue this visual storytelling and for it to be across all the league’s assets, front and centre and for all clubs, players, officials and fans to feel the power of the stories and power of celebrating Indigenous culture in sport. 

“Every club will be wearing a uniform with Indigenous design on it, most developed by a local artist, with a story behind it,” Collier-Hill details. “Uniforms, artwork and stories will all be shared on the dedicated Indigenous Round webpage on the WNBL website, which will also outline the round’s purpose and what’s happening each round. There will be a range of content shared, celebrating our Indigenous history and heritage.

“Referees will wear Indigenous uniforms that have been created using Tamara May’s Indigenous WNBL artwork and all teams will wear warm up tops that hero the WNBL Indigenous Round visual identity to support promotion and awareness of the round. Host clubs will have a range of activities on game day to recognise and celebrate our Indigenous history and heritage.”

Related: My Top 3 Moments of the 21/22 WNBL Season So Far…

For Collier-Hill who has long worked within the WNBL industry, previously as the General Manager of the Melbourne Boomers and is also a member of the Marketing and Communications Advisory Committee for the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, driving diversity and inclusion in the game is important. 

“The WNBL recognises and respects our Indigenous history and heritage. We feel it’s important to use the platform we have to continue to raise awareness of this.” 

The WNBL’s Indigenous Round is officially in Round 12 of the 21/22 Season which tips off on Wednesday, 2 March between the Bendigo Spirit and the Southside Flyers, but the recognition will extend to Round 15 to deliver more opportunities for storytelling and celebration.

Head to the WNBL website for more stories, jersey designs and fixtures for Indigenous Round and the remainder of the 21/22 WNBL Season.

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