Roebourne basketball carnival a boost for mental health

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Mayuga Majik’s Martin Coffin and Blazer’s Michael Snook compete for the ball.
Camera IconMayuga Majik’s Martin Coffin and Blazer’s Michael Snook compete for the ball. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

Hundreds of people from across the North West flocked to the Roebourne basketball courts over the Easter weekend for the sixth Lady Mustangs Annual Basketball Carnival.

The three-day round robin tournament, which raises awareness of suicide prevention in memory of the late captain of local team the Lady Mustangs, this year drew 24 teams from the Pilbara and Kimberley to compete.

A two-day junior carnival involving 15 teams was also held the Wednesday and Thursday before the seniors’ event, for a second consecutive year.

A Mayuga Majik player lines up a shot in a semi-final match against the Blazers.
Camera IconA Mayuga Majik player lines up a shot in a semi-final match against the Blazers. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

The Lady Mustangs team organises the carnival each year.

Team member Roslyn Alec said there had been particular community interest in the event this year following a spate of suicides in the Pilbara over the Christmas period.

“We looked into the suicide rates in the region, and that’s mainly why we really want to target this issue, because we don’t want it to be this high — it’s not our way, and it’s not anybody’s way, really,” she said.

“Suicide doesn’t just affect the (victim’s) family, it affects the whole community, and we don’t want our community to go through the pain that we went through.”

Jaw’s Lewis Wilson dribbles up the court in a semi-final against Pacers.
Camera IconJaw’s Lewis Wilson dribbles up the court in a semi-final against Pacers. Credit: Pictures: Alicia Perera, Alicia Perera

Alec said while team numbers had been slightly down this year, the carnival was having a growing impact in the North West, with organisers in talks with a Broome team about possibly holding next year’s event in the Kimberley town.

Until now the carnival has only ever been held in Roebourne.

“For people to come up to us and ask if we could spread the news about suicide prevention to other towns like Broome ... and put the suicide awareness message out there is a really good thing,” Alec said.

A Slow and Steady player tries to pass under pressure from No Limitz’ Sharee Dolby during a women’s preliminary final.
Camera IconA Slow and Steady player tries to pass under pressure from No Limitz’ Sharee Dolby during a women’s preliminary final. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

All funds raised from the carnival will go towards a local project for addressing mental health issues in Roebourne.

Alec said organisers were grateful for the level of community support for the event.

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