11th-hour attempt to refloat Mermaids for 2013 Big V season

WARRNAMBOOL Mermaids hope Big V officials will give them an 11th-hour reprieve and allow them to compete in the 2013 competition.

The reigning Big V women’s division one premier withdrew from the 2013 competition in November.

A mass player exodus was the major factor.

Warrnambool Basketball Incorporated chairman Shane Dean said the association sent a formal letter to the Big V by close of business yesterday, seeking re-admission following interest from a group of parents and players.

Dean said a group had rallied to form a 2013 team and the board had thrown its support behind the move.

Big V gave it a list of requirements which needed to be fulfilled before it could  consider reinstating the Mermaids at short notice.

Requirements included a list of committed players, support staff and a coach.

Dean said the group had 10 players — “predominantly a young group from last year’s team” — committed and had a coach in mind. 

The Big V has already released its draft draws for the 2013 season which starts in March and a potential Mermaids’ inclusion would require a major reshuffle in one grade.

Dean said it was unknown which grade the Mermaids would be placed in if their request was granted.

He said he expected Big V’s decision in the coming days.

“We’d like to think before the end of the week whether it’s doable or not,” he said.

“We’re rapt there is interest in keeping it afloat and the worst-case scenario is it gives us great confidence it will only be one year out of the competition.”

Dean said while it was slightly disappointing it took interested parties so long to show interest, the association supported the group and its quest for a late entry.

“From a sponsorship and marketing point-of-view having male and female teams is ideal, but more importantly for the development and retention of basketballers that we offer a pathway,” he said.

“At the end of the day the board is excited by the fact there is passion and interest in getting a girls’ team on the court.”

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