Tom Dearden of the Broncos.
Tom Dearden of the Broncos.

ASPIRE CQ: Basketball’s Broncos

IF you have started reading The Courier-Mail lately you can’t help notice the amount of space given to the near daily stories on the Brisbane Broncos.

Why does a sport team get so much attention, and not just on the back page? A one team town in a rugby league mad state might be given as the reason.

But does that really explain why we, even the non-jersey wearers, know more about what the coach and players are being paid, what injuries they carry, where they are moving on to, who’s in and out this week, than those that can actually make a financial impact on our lives, our supposedly transparent politicians.

Pride; when winning the Broncos are the pride of Brisbane. (The Lions (AFL) perhaps getting that accolade now).

Not one of the 7 Deadly Sins, a different type of pride, one that fosters bonding, enables one to persist when challenged, remain committed, offers social support; a virtue not a vice.

When the Broncos lose, it’s not just their position on the NRL ladder that is affected (and the coach’s, CEO and Chairman’s future), but the morale of their large number of ever-loyal supporters.

Team and code pride though mean their support doesn’t just stop or switch to another team, they instead seek answers.

Answers the media offer, regularly and in abundance, to meet the readers emotional need to better understand and maybe assign the way they feel. We are after all emotional-beings.

What do we have to stir or dent our CQ pride?

Unfortunately, we don’t even get to adopt a homeless Victorian AFL club or any of the interstate Super Netball teams. And with COVID-19 restrictions most regional representative sports matches have been cancelled, leaving CQ, in the heart of the new sports capital of Australia (Queensland), starved of high-level sport.

However, the basketball associations of Rockhampton, Mackay, Gladstone and Bundaberg have got together, looked at how to overcome the COVID-19 challenges, to organise a home and away series for their men’s and women’s senior teams for the ConocoPhillips CQ Cup, starting in October.

Giving CQ something to follow, cheer, hopefully celebrate; something we can build town and regional pride around, which will assist in our economic recovery.

The organisers may have come up with this competition to just provide their top players some quality game time, but what they have done also is provide the residents of each city a reason to bond, unite to face the challenges the other cities are providing.

Considering that many of us have been experiencing a rather dampener of a year, especially if you are in the hospitality industry, or if you still have a job, working in physical isolation and social distancing is making bonding a tad difficult, from October we’ll have an emotional release valve that can bring us together spiritually, if not physically, as we passionately share the teams progress in the competition.

Not interested in basketball, don’t know who are in the teams, it’s only a CQ competition; this year these issues need to be more thoroughly addressed and not just by the individual basketball associations.

The councils in each region should see this competition as one of the few opportunities they will have this year to effectively build pride in their communities and assist in fostering this. Team sponsors should also be encouraged to proudly display the teams colours on their social media pages and in their store windows, media need to do profiles on the players, advertisers recruit players to do endorsements, businesses offer one day discounts/offers should the teams win, live streams of all the matches arranged.

Basically make this competition bigger than just a weekend basketball game.

This is city versus city, in a competition that features the best teams in the state (outside of the NBL competition), in a competition that in terms of quality makes the southern based State League competition look second rate.

The winners of the CQ Cup are the best league teams in the state.

Challenge them if you dare.

Get people who have never played basketball talking about how the teams are performing, bonding over who should be in the starting five, supporting the local sponsor businesses, build social support structures to get more people involved.

All this can motivate us and make us more diligent with our own endeavours as we intertwine our challenges with those of our home team.

This type of pride builds resilience and positive energy in our communities.

Something we could do with a bit more of, at the moment.

COVID-19 has created a problem but also great opportunity for basketball in CQ

CQ’s starvation of high-level sports leaves the men’s and women’s senior basketball teams in each of the four cities the opportunity for Bronco-like local media exposure.

A unique opportunity to boost the sport and teams’ profiles and connections within their communities.

Hopefully this opportunity is recognised and purposely pursued, not just for the local basketball associations’ benefit, but for each of the communities and the greater CQ.

This type of DIY connectiveness between the four basketball associations builds pride in what we have and, as collaborating individuals, can achieve in CQ.



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