The Club commenced from the basketball activities at Eltham High School in 1964. After a series of informal games against various schools, the first two teams were entered in an organised competition, the Presbyterian Men’s Basketball Association, in the Winter Season 1965. There were two teams called “Eltham Eagles” and “Eltham Falcons” at Under 15 level.
Major steps along the way to strength and maturity have been:
-1968 First formal committee established.
-1969 First “home” court Try Youth Club West Heidelberg!
-Eastern Districts Junior Association formed out two separate groups, which ran Winter and Summer seasons. The EDJBA has provided a varied add challenging competition for our Saturday teams since then.
-Early 70’s first girls teams enter competition.
-Rapid expansion of numbers throughout 70’s
-1975 First January Tournament conducted by the Club out of the Bulleen venue.
-1975 First entry into junior championships and immediate success in making the A grade finals.
-Eltham Basketball Cooperative Ltd. established to facilitate building of a venue.
-Eltham Club gains association status in 1979.
-1980 Opening of Eltham Leisure Centre, consequent expansion of senior and primary competitions, and junior administration. Referees Director appointed.
-1980 Entry into Senior Championship Competition.
-Diversification of activities – international tours, Art Show, Deb Ball.
-Early 90’s rapid growth Saturday teams, first Junior Championship premierships, major awards and distinctions in coaching, playing, administration and refereeing.
-1995 Building of Eltham High venue completed.
-Appointment of first full time Venues and Resources Administrator.
-2001 Building of the third court at Eltham High School
-2007 Eltham Wildcats Basketball Club has 1800 families involved in some level of participation
-2012 Eltham Basketball and Montmorency Secondary with the support of Banyule Council and State Government open the 2 court facility at Montmorency Secondary College
-2013 Naming of Eltham High Court 3 to “The David Hickman Court”
ELTHAM WILDCATS BASKETBALL CLUB INC. exists to serve the surrounding community by the provision of opportunities for recreation, enjoyment and the pursuit of excellence for all those who wish to participate, irrespective of age, gender or ability.
For these reasons, the Club runs a diverse programme, to cater for the variety of interests of the members of the community. In terms of competitions, the Club either runs or enters teams in :
-Late afternoon Primary School based competition
-Saturday Junior Competition Under 8 – Under 20
-Junior Championship, Victorian, Metro & Regional
-Mid week Senior Men’s and Women’s
-Over 30 Men’s and Over 30 Women’s
-Senior Men’s and Women’s Championship
-Big V Championship and Youth League
There is also an emphasis on preparation and training. Oz Ball, regular team training, training camps and special clinics help to prepare players. Formal courses, a coaches’ library, opportunities to assist experienced coaches, assistance from Coaches’ Advisers, and special seminars are used to lift the standards of coaching. The Club has some of the state’s leading referees’ evaluators to guide the referees’ programme. A distinctive feature of the Club is an administrators’ training programme.
In partnership with Dandenong, Eltham Wildcats runs the largest junior basketball tournament in the world. For 2013 we had 964 registerd teams entered in the Eltham-Dandenong Junior Basketball Tournament with teams from as far as the USA and right across Australia. In recent years, the club added an All Abilities grade of competition to the tournament which has truly made it an all inclusive basketball event.
The Club has paid attention to policy development, both implementing Basketball Victoria policies and introducing our own. Please pick up a copy from the club office. Policies include those relating to dealing with grievances, selection of teams, codes of conduct, non discrimination and conflict of interests.
Various areas of the Club have their own committees, with assistance provided by a Venues & Resources Administrator, a few fractional time employees, the on duty games administrators and the facilities of the office at the Eltham High venue. Overall an elected General Committee, with a small Executive Committee dealing with specific matters of concern determines policy. The Club still depends much on volunteers to help as coaches, team managers, committee support, and all kinds of specific tasks.
Like every other group in our society, we make mistakes, lack sufficient resources to do all jobs well, and have disagreements from time to time. We always welcome new participants to enjoy the great game of basketball with the Eltham Wildcats Basketball Club.