Sport as a catalyst for

social change

Our Vision

Collingwood Basketball Association puts the players first. Not only does our program teach essential basketball technical skills, but we also encourage the value of teamwork, commitment, comradery, and drive. Our membership has grown to over 1,300 players participating across 150 teams and 20 competitions, 7 days a week, 48 weeks per year.

With a focus on 12- to 24-year-old boys and girls, our Youth Development Program harnesses the potential of our local youth by supporting them in a team environment. Through physical activity, educational support and community outreach, the program cultivates life skills that extend beyond the hoops.

The CBA’s growing participation can be attributed to the changing demographics of the inner city, and we believe our program is an essential service to the players across all age groups.


The core values of the Collingwood Basketball Association are:


To develop players, coaches, and teams to work together and achieve their highest potential.


To support and uplift on and off the court for the betterment of our community.


To enrich the lives of those in our program with the love of the game, the passion of play, and the sense of belonging.


The Collingwood Basketball Association aims to reach as many local youths as possible across different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds and give them a sense of community, inclusivity, and purpose. Commitment is both the priority of organisers and players: participants must maintain attendance and good behaviour within the sport, as well as in school and their community, to partake.

Our program also encourages the evolution of players to coaching, refereeing, volunteering and organisational positions, extending and enhancing the community’s potential from within. Every youth coming into our program finds a place and a sense of belonging thanks to our diverse and inclusive roster of players.

Inclusion, encouragement, and betterment: That is the CBA’s goal.



Unique Community,

Unique Challenges

The Collingwood Basketball Association doesn’t just strategize for our next game—we look at the larger picture beyond the court. To us, basketball is bigger than winning or losing: the framework builds proficiencies and life lessons they will carry with them throughout their life. From teamwork to commitment and entrusting responsibility, we believe
the boys and girls that come through our program will be enriched with a strong skillset to utilise in future vocations.

Building blocks are at the core of program: if we develop and build fundamental skills in our youth at a young age, and foster those skills through strength and conditioning, academic support, resilience, and mental health care, we believe the sky is the limit for what our youth can achieve.

Even outside of a tournament, we want to pass the ball to our program’s participants and watch them score a slam dunk in whichever path they


The City of Yarra Local Government Area is home to the largest population of public housing residents in Victoria with over 8,000 people. This makes up almost 10% of Yarra’s total population.

Victoria (as a State) is home to the largest concentration of Sudanese migrants. The 2016 census reveals 8,416 Sudanese-born migrants live in Victoria, with a majority in our community.

The statistics reveal our youth are among some of the most vulnerable in Australia, and it is our mission to reach them and give them a sense of purpose and positive outlook.


Our average Offense Rate is 75% higher than the state average, with 62% of offences occurring in our community’s backyard between Collingwood, Fitzroy, Abbotsford, and Fitzroy North.

In the year prior to March 2021, the City of Yarra recorded the 7th highest LGA incidence rate for offences (per 100,000 people.)

10% of all crimes committed in our community are committed by youth ages 10-22, according to Crime Statistics Agency data.

25% of these crimes recorded indicated the offender’s country of birth as being from Africa (not including those born in Australia with African heritage.)

According to the Victorian Government’s Youth Justice Strategic Plan, 2020-2030 (published May 2020,  “young people from culturally and linguistically diverse groups are over-represented in Youth Justice, particularly those from Sudanese, Maori and Pacific Islander backgrounds.”

The CRA looks to reduce the amount of crime within our community by giving at-risk youth a positive outlet to focus their energy and harness their athletic, social, and intellectual abilities.


Patterns emerge linking youth crime to anti-social behaviour and idle time, as indicated in decades of research and literature.

Sport and physical activity interventions are highly effective in preventing crime and reducing substance abuse, homelessness, unemployment, and school truancy, as well as improving mental health, according to the Australian Institute of Criminology in its 2003 report, Sport, Physical Activity and Antisocial Behaviour. This research has also been corroborated in a 2017 Sport England report.

Teamwork is also a pillar of our program’s positive fortification: social connections through sport improve self-esteem, carry a positive connotation with peer associations, develop emotional skills and facilitate strong communication between family members, says a 2020 KPMG report.

By actively engaging in a structured-schedule sport activity, this reduces the amount of unsupervised down time and possibility to engage in anti-social behaviour. Alongside physical activity, the brain cognition required for playing basketball reduces boredom.

Sport plays a role not only in preventing individuals from committing their first crime, but also past criminals from additional offences.