Bill's Media Releases


The Member for Maribyrnong, Bill Shorten, last night attended a training session at Helping Hoops, an after school basketball program for disadvantaged young people in Melbourne’s west.

He met and spoke to around 30 young people, many from refugee backgrounds, while they showed off their skills at their Braybrook training centre.

Mr Shorten watched the group, aged between 8 and 18, train in teams and receive tips from former NBL star, Mike Spears, at RecWest Centre, Braybrook.

He congratulated the kids for participating in the program and encouraged them to pursue their passions, and believe in themselves.

“Participation in sport isn’t just about being active and winning or losing, it’s about building confidence and links amongst peers and in the wider community,” Mr Shorten said.

He also spoke about his role as Member for Maribynong and Minister for Employment and encouraged all of the kids with part time jobs to be aware of their rights at work.

“I loved watching the participants enjoying themselves so much at training, and it was particularly gratifying to see some of the older participants mentoring the younger kids, and the strong friendships that have developed within the group,” Mr Shorten said.

“There was a fair amount of sporting talent there too, and that talent is being developed by a highly experienced coach.

The After School West Program is a free weekly basketball program for children from a multicultural background in the West of Melbourne.

As well as having a lot of fun and developing the kids' basketball skills, Helping Hoops helps the kids to build self-esteem, trust, deve

lop teamwork skills, and teach respect of teammates and officials.

Each session lasts for two hours and is conducted by former NBL and US College basketball star, Mike Spears - a fully accredited coach with a current Work with Children Check. Mike has played all around the world and has previously coached alongside Michael Jordan.


Media Contact:

Jayne Edwards / Kieran Barns-Jenkins: 9326 1300