IT'S no secret women have a way to go in sport in terms of being on an equal playing field with men, but one Springfield basketball club is working to change that.
The Springfield Brumbies Basketball Club is the fastest growing basketball club in the region with over 250 members and part of that growth includes a number of top female players representing both Ipswich, Queensland and in some cases, Australia.
Club president Charlene Notoa said while the club supported all of its members, she was particularly interested in pushing the girls to realise the potential opportunities available to them.
"While there are a lot of elite state and national players from both the boys and girls teams it's mainly the girls who have really blossomed through all of this,” Mrs Notoa said.
"All basketball clubs are pushing for females because it can lead to full scholarships in the US and the benefits when you are able to play at an elite level means you can travel around Australia and expose yourself to special schools and national performance programs.
"I really want to promote females and it's evident what we're doing at Brumbies is working, plus it would also be amazing to have more female coaches, they just need to be brave enough to give it a go.”
Mrs Notoa is a mother of three girls and a former representative basketball player herself and has played in competitions across New Zealand and Australia.
Her two older daughters also both play at various representative levels and aim to make a career out of the sport.
A social worker by day, Mrs Notoa has a passion for helping children and seeing them thrive and said she hoped the club could be a way of improving the lives of all its members.
"A lot of the kids come from disadvantaged backgrounds, so we're also trying to get parents involved in the club either in the management or coaching side of things and to educate them that it starts from the home first,” she said.
"Being able to help kids and to tie their education in with sport is the ultimate and I have kids who I'm trying to get to a certain level but because of their home life it's really tough.
"I don't want this to just be a sports club, I want to create a real family environment, so we're working with a lot troubled kids to try to fuel their passion within the sport to get them out of trouble.”
The Springfield Brumbies Basketball Club is currently promoting a raffle where all proceeds will go towards supporting the club and its activities.
For more information on how to buy a raffle ticket or for information about the club, visit the Facebook page.