Apunipima Cape York Health Council (Apunipima) has secured the naming rights for the Australian Indigenous Basketball men’s and women’s national teams (All Stars) for the third consecutive year.
The Apunipima All Stars men will compete in the 5th Annual Trans-Tasman Basketball Clash against the New Zealand Maori national side this September, with the three-game series being played in venues across New Zealand’s North Island.
Both Apunipima All Stars men’s and women’s national teams will then hit the global stage next March, when they’ll compete in the 2019 World Indigenous Basketball Championships, also being hosted in New Zealand.
The Apunipima All Stars national teams are made up of Australia’s premier Indigenous basketball talent. The All Stars men are reigning Trans-Tasman champions following their defeat of the New Zealand Maori in Cairns last year. New Zealand has not defeated the Australian Indigenous side in a series since the inaugural Trans-Tasman Basketball Clash was held back in 2014.
Apunipima All Stars Head Coach Joel Khalu said this year's clash is sure to be the most challenging yet.
“The series shifts back to New Zealand this year and they (Maoris) are always much tougher to beat playing in front of their home crowd,” Khalu said.
“I’m sure they’ll be throwing everything they have at us in the hope of not losing a fouth consecutive series, but we’ll be up to the challenge.”
The long running partnership with Apunipima provides the teams with an opportunity to inspire and encourage other Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander people throughout Cape York.
“We are fortunate enough to visit and work in communities across the Cape and get involved in the programs that Apunipima delivers. Our team has some great role-models, who, as sporting ambassadors can assist Apunipima to promote healthy lifestyles, the importance of resilience and interdependence. Our team are also living examples of what hard work, self-belief and the right support can bring about and we’ll be telling that story to the people of Cape York.”
“Apunipima has been fantastic to work with over the last few years, and we are thrilled that they are on board as our naming partner for another year,” Khalu added.