Holiday Camps / School Holidays
Written by Jaylee Ismay
15 September, 2021

Basketball NSW is excited to announce that registrations are now open for our first ever FREE ONLINE BASKETBALL FESTIVAL.

We have 20 interactive, online basketball filled sessions spanning four days from Monday 20th September till Thursday 23rd September. These sessions are aimed at children of all ages and abilities along with specific sessions for coaches, officials and interested parents. 

Every session will range from 30-45 minutes and will have a number of special guests join in on the fun to help steer the interactive activities and answer any questions you may have. It is the perfect fun and informative activity for your children to participate in during the school holidays and especially during lockdown. 

Remember that all interested participants need to register their details so that a Zoom link can be sent and that prize packs can be sent to winners.  Do you have any questions you’d like to ask our guests?  Please email them in advance to:


A few highlights of the carnival include; training/fitness sessions delivered by the Illawarra Hawks, Sydney Kings, Brydens Sydney Uni Flames, Centre of Excellence, along with Basketball NSW High Performance Coaches, Strength & Conditioning Session delivered by NBA Global Academy, special workshops featuring Indigenous Basketball Australia, Q & A sessions with Nick Kay, Katie Rae Ebzery, Damien Martin & our Paralympians.  We have special guest appearances by Kristy Wallace, Lauren Nicholson and Renae Garlepp, along with a special session to celebrate the FIBA Women’s World Cup 2022 ‘One Year To Go’ celebrations. 

For the full schedule of sessions check out the information below.

Monday 20th September:

10:00am – Aussie Hoops with Lauren Nicholson & Jarrod Moore (5-10 years and beginners)

Aussie Hoops is Basketball Australia’s official introductory program, providing a fun and inclusive Basketball experience for 5-10 year olds. Join Opals squad member, WNBL player and former BNSW Junior Lauren Nicholson, as well as BNSW’s Coach Development Manager Jarrod Moore for a fun and interactive 30 minutes of basketball skills for beginner players.  Bring a ball & drink bottle. No hoop required.  

11:00am – Paralympics Wrap up 

Join us as we catch up for an informal chat with our Paralympian athletes who are currently still in hotel quarantine after their trip to Tokyo. We will chat about the challenges surrounding their preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, with border closures and Covid lockdowns limiting their time together as a team. We will discuss their experiences leading up to becoming Paralympians, as well as their goals for the future. Join NT athlete Tom O’Neill-Thorne who was part of the Rollers Team, NSW athlete Georgia Munro-Cook and QLD athlete Ella Sabljak, who were both members of the Gliders team, as well as Sarah Graham who travelled to Tokyo as Assistant Coach of the Women’s Gliders team. Sarah is a former WNBL player, who is now Assistant Coach of the Women’s program at Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence (COE). Hosted by Janna Mizens, two-time Paralympian, this session explores the growth of Wheelchair basketball and the opportunities currently available to junior players in Australia.

12:00pm – BNSW Fitness Session with Curtis Sardi (10-18+ years)

Curtis Sardi, BNSW High Performance Coach for NSW Country, delivers a basketball fitness session along with HPP athletes Caitlyn Martin & Noah Pagotto.  Bring a Ball, Drink bottle, Skipping Rope, Ladder for footwork (or chalk to draw one).

1:00pm – Tokyo Wrap up with Boomer Nick Kay & Opal Katie Rae Ebzery. Hosted by Damien Martin

The names, Nick Kay, Katie-Rae Ezbery and Damien Martin should speak for themselves but just in case you need to know more before joining in on the live interactive Q & A workshop, here it is. Tamworth Junior Nick Kay has just returned from winning a Bronze at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a Boomer. Katie-Rae Ezbery from the Perth Lynx and a Newcastle Junior has also returned from the Olympics as an Opal and has a very impressive basketball career including being named in the “All-Star 5”  three years running! And last but definitely not least – we have Damien Martin who is well renowned for being the NBL’s Best Defensive Player 6 times over! 

2:00pm – Illawarra Hawks Skills Session (8-18+ years) *Prize packs to all participants will be sent from the Hawks post event

Come and spend time with your Hawks heroes while learning and improving your basketball skills! This session will be a fun, interactive 30 minutes of basketball and fitness.  Bring a ball & drink bottle.

5:00pm – Coaches discussion with Shaun Roger (Everyone + Coaches)

Shaun Roger is the assistant coach at Illawarra Hawks.  He has a long list of coaching achievements, including working with BNSW as Coach Development Manager.  Join Shaun as he shares his tips on skill development, as well his coaching philosophies and some of the challenges he has faced over the years.  Bring a notepad & pen.

Tuesday 21st September:

11:00am – BNSW Skills Session with Will Lopez (10-18+ years)

Will Lopez, BNSW High Performance Coach for NSW Metro, delivers a basketball skills session along with HPP athletes Abbey McGregor & Jesse Edwards. Bring a Ball, Hoop, Cone, Tennis Ball & Drink bottle.

12:00pm – Staying Positive in Challenging times with Special Guest Renae Garlepp (12-18+ years)

Stop by during lunch to learn about staying positive in difficult times. We’ve all experienced extended periods in lockdown, and the disappointment it brings when things are continually cancelled. Or the physical and mental burden some athletes have endured after being injured, or experiencing a loss or trauma. Join Renae Garlepp, former WNBL player who has represented Australia both as a junior and senior and who has faced a number of injury related setbacks; along with Nicola O’Leary, our Basketball NSW Chaplain as they chat and explore what it takes to face challenges, stay positive and bounce back.  Bring a notepad & pen.

1:00pm – Indigenous Basketball Australia Skills Session with Tyson Demos (10-18+ years)

IBA is a not-for-profit entity that delivers basketball programs at the grassroots level for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people so they have a better chance to advance in the sport and more importantly, succeed in life. Come and join former NBL player, and IBA’s Head of Basketball, Tyson Demos for a session in fundamental basketball skills and talk about IBA’s work throughout Australia.  Bring a ball & drink bottle.

5:00pm – BA Pathways for USA college with Darren Smith & special guest Kristy Wallace (12-18+ years and parents)

Come and join Basketball Australia Pathways and ex NBL player Darren Smith, and learn how you can make your dream of obtaining a US College Scholarship a reality. Darren has personally been through the college recruitment process himself both as a player and as a parent. Special guest Kristy Wallace will also be there to talk about her experience, after graduating from Baylor a couple of years ago. Kristy is now part of the Opals squad for the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup to be held in Jordan later this month.  Bring a notepad & pen.

Wednesday 22nd September:

10:00am – Nutrition & eating to perform (12-18+ years)

Renee Kennedy is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Sports Dietitian from Motivate Nutrition with over 20 years of experience. This session is all about…yes you guessed it… “Nutrition”.  Even for adults, it’s easy to get confused when it comes to health and nutrition.  For young athletes, it can be even more confusing!  In this interactive session, Renee will explain how eating right can assist young athletes to optimize their performance on the court.  Bring a notepad & pen.

11:00am – I am a Girl, Come & try (Girls 5-12 years and beginners)

I AM A GIRL Come and Try is a program to build female participation in basketball. It is designed to get NEW females to come together, pick up a basketball, learn new skills and fall in love with the game. This session is aimed at new players to learn new skills in a safe and supportive environment. Come along and join in the fun!  Bring a ball & drink bottle.

12:00pm – FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 ** ONE YEAR TO GO UNTIL SYDNEY ** (Special Guest Lauren Jackson)

The FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 is FIBA’s flagship women’s competition and one of the most prestigious competitions in international basketball. The world’s best players from 12 of basketball’s powerhouse nations across Africa, Americas, Asia & Oceania and Europe will descend on Sydney Olympic Park for 38 games to be played across 10 days from September 22 – October 1, 2022.  To celebrate the one year to go milestone, Lorraine Landon will join the panel to discuss one of this generation’s biggest opportunities for women’s basketball in Australia, how plans are coming together, what you can expect from the World Cup and Australian Opals, and how you can get involved in some of the related legacy programs & even the event itself.

1:00pm – Brydens Sydney Uni Flames Skills Session with Shane & Shyla Heal  (8-18+ years)

Join us for a jam-packed skills and drills session with coach Shane Heal and player Shyla Heal from the Brydens Sydney Uni Flames. This is a great opportunity for young athletes to experience a fun and exciting session of basketball as well as get to meet father & daughter superstars; Shane & Shyla Heal. Bring a ball & drink bottle.

2:00pm – Officiating: Referee Pathways & Opportunities (All ages – referees & aspiring referees)

Basketball Australia’s (BA) Women and Girls strategy recently identified the need to create pathways for women through officiating and this year, four of the five new FIBA licenced referees are women. In this session, join Jacqui Dover and Haylee Cole, two of BNSW WNBL Officials, both of whom recently obtained their FIBA Referee Licenses. This year Dover was also the first indigenous female to referee an NBL game. Together with Steve Clarke (BNSW’s Head of Technical Officials), Jacqui and Haylee will talk about their experiences in climbing the ranks as female referees, why they chose to officiate basketball, as well as their goals and aspirations looking into the future.  Bring a notepad & pen.

3:00pm – COE: Post Moves with Peter Lonergan, Chyra Evans & Isla Juffermans (12-18+ years)

Peter Lonergan is Basketball Australia’s Director of High Performance Coaching and Talent Identification, based at Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence (COE) in Canberra. In this session, he will lead our two Country NSW COE forwards, Chyra Evans and Isla Juffermans through a Post Moves session at the AIS. Learn what you can do at-home now, to create more scoring opportunities around the basket once the courts are open again. Bring a ball & drink bottle.

4:00pm – Coaches Discussion with Brian Goorjian

Join Australian coaching icon Brian Goorjian, who only recently returned from Tokyo after being the first coach to lead the Boomers to an Olympic medal. Brian is a six-time NBL Championship coach and has been the head coach of the Boomers in 2004 (Athens) 2008 (Beijing) and Tokyo (2021). Post Beijing, Brian broadened his international experience spending two years with the Japanese National team and then made his mark in the CBA (Chinese Basketball Association) over eleven years, making him the longest serving foreign coach to date.  Between 1988 and 2009, Goorjian coached 735 NBL games for 514 wins, at an incredible winning percentage of 70%. Over that time, he amassed six championships, six Lindsay Gaze NBL Coach of the Year awards, 19 consecutive NBL play-off appearances and 13 NBL Grand Final series appearances.  Goorjian is highly regarded for his relentless determination in getting the absolute best from the teams he coaches.

Thursday 23rd September:

11:00am – NBA Global Academy – Strength & Conditioning Session (10-18+ years)

Join Shane Connolly, Matt Blue and the NBA Global Academy athletes in Canberra for a strength & conditioning session. As S&C Coach at the NBA Global Academy, Shane Connolly is responsible for enhancing athletic performance and reducing the risk of injuries for top high school-age players from around the world. Matt Blue is from the US and is the assistant coach of the NBA Global Academy. Learn what you can do at-home to improve your explosive power & speed so you’re ready to hit the courts again come game day. End with an informal chat with NSW Athletes Tyrese Proctor & Josh Dent, who are a part of the program, and living at the AIS in Canberra. Bring a ball & drink bottle.

12:00 noon – Goal setting & self regulation with Dr Juanita Weissensteiner  (12-18+ years)

Juanita Weissensteiner is currently the Principal Advisor, Pathways, at the NSW Office of Sport where she works with sporting people across NSW.   Join Juanita for this practical and interactive session where you will learn all about what it takes to reach the top in Basketball; how you can ‘train your brain’ including using effective self-regulation strategies to assist your learning, preparation, and performance; setting effective goals to support your developmental ‘game plan’; becoming ‘sporting smart’ with the right fit of knowledge; and the importance of staying connected and being supported. In this session, Juanita will provide you with some great resources and practical tools that you can take away and put into practice straight away to assist your development and progression. Bring a notepad & pen.

1:00pm – Athlete Recovery & injury prevention – STRETCH/RELEASE (12-18+ years)

Being the best means pushing yourself to the limit, but as we train more and compete harder the risk of injury and time away from basketball remains, making recovery and injury prevention a vital part of athlete programming. This session with Adam Messenger from Momentum Physio will guide you in understanding how to best manage your body when training, to enable you to push the boundaries of competitive sport.  Don’t put recovery and injury prevention to the side, otherwise it may be you who is on the bench.  Bring a towel, drink bottle, foam roller and spikey ball if you have one.  

 2:00pm – Sydney Kings Skills Session (8-18+ years) 

It’s not often you get to train with the Sydney Kings!  Come along, learn new skills, and have fun with some players from the Sydney Kings!  Got questions for the players?  Bring a ball & drink bottle.

Remember all interested participants need to register their details so you can be sent the Zoom link and for prize packs to be sent to winners. 

CLICK HERE to register

CLICK HERE to be redirected to our Facebook Event for further updates.