Emily Attard has been named a Melton Young Citizen of the Year. The 17-year-old basketballer talks to Esther Lauaki about her Specialist Hoops program.

What’s your connection to Melton?

 

I live and play basketball in the area and I went to school in Caroline Springs.

 

How long have you lived in the area?

 

I’ve lived in Melton my whole life.

 

What are you passionate about?

 

I’m most passionate about helping people do their best and giving them the best opportunities that they can have.

 

How do you feel about receiving Melton council’s Young Citizen of the Year award last week?

 

I’m extremely honoured … it was something I didn’t expect at all. I’m really proud that I’m doing something for the community and helping people.

 

Tell us about your involvement with the Specialist Hoops initiative.

 

I received the award for my involvement in organising the Specialist Hoops program in Melton. I started up the all-abilities basketball clinics last year as a school holiday program for kids to come and try the game. It has now become a weekly program and will continue into next year.

It’s a program where kids can come and learn the game in a safe and fun environment.

I played squad for seven years and represented Melton under-18s at national level, which was a great experience. I became a referee at Melton Basketball to give back to the community as I’ve had so much enjoyment from playing this game.

I have worked my way through the grading structure as a referee. It was there that I grew my passion for coaching young kids.

 

What other hats do you wear in the community?

 

I referee and coach with Spartans Basketball and played Big V.

 

What’s something people don’t know about you?

 

I have a love for hot-rodding and being around old cars. My dad raced when he was young. I’ve got a hot rod now – it’s a family affair.

 

What do you love about Melton?

 

I love how it’s community. I can walk into the shops and I’ll know at least one person.

 

What would you like to see improved?

 

I would love to see everyone in Melton be more accepting of different people and their abilities.