By Justin Barnes (he/him)
If you look around the world today there is limited LGBTQ+ representation in Basketball and many state, national and international basketball bodies around the world are lacking in inclusivity policies making basketball one of the least accessible sports from a queer perspective.
Perth Spectres Basketball Club is the Perth arm of Spectres Australia which is Australia’s only LGBTQ+ Basketball body, forming clubs in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Jonathan Banks started the Perth Spectres Basketball Club in December 2019 with the aim to create a space for all people of all genders, sexualities and ethnicities to come together and enjoy their passion for sport in a safe environment. At the end of 2021, Justin Barnes became the Club Leader.
“We believe in the power of social basketball, it can change lives. We stand together with our community and ally’s, who are reflected in our players, team members and everyone who volunteers to make up our committee,” says Justin.
The Perth Spectres Basketball Club holds a yearly BASKET-BALL, which is a gala style ball (or Prom if you want to callit that). It is two years running and the last event in May 2022 sold out! 300 tickets sold and all supporting Perth Spectres Basketball Club along with community-based organisations Freedom Centre, Ending Conversion Practices, and PFLAG + Perth. We managed to raise close to $12,000 in one night which we think is a great accomplishment. It was incredible, a night that really stood up to say that LGBTQ+ sport is here to stay and is needed.
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As a club Perth Spectres believe that they can empower LGBTQ+ people and friends to have healthier and safer lives through safe sport that truly enables people to be who they are. We believe that being inviting and caring for our members is truly what makes our club different.
The club also loves collaborating with other local LGBTQ+ sports clubs, many of them under the banner of Team Perth, which have been amazing. There is a huge amount of events coming out in November for Perth Pride’s 2022 PrideFest.
Perth Spectres Basketball Club now consists of over 65 members with 5 seasonal teams playing basketball and we are constantly growing. We also offer a free ‘Train & Play’ event every fortnight that enables funds to be no barrier to LGBTQ+ inclusive basketball. Fitness, fun & basketball…what more could you want?
Photo Credit: Perth Spectres Basketball Club and Kyle Spyrides/ Soul Gazing Photography