February 27, 2024

Supporting regional athletes – Mia Harvey

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Investing in the future of regional sport: McKern Steel Foundation sponsors young basketball star Mia Harvey

At McKern Steel Foundation, we believe that all young people, regardless of where they live, should have the opportunity to pursue their dreams. That’s why we’re proud to sponsor Mia Harvey, a talented basketball player from regional Victoria who is chasing her dream of playing college basketball in the USA, WNBA and one day for Australia representing the green and gold.”

At just 15 years of age, Mia has shown immense dedication and commitment to her sport, travelling long distances and training tirelessly to hone her skills. However, as a young athlete living in regional Australia, Mia faces challenges that her city-based counterparts don’t. The financial costs of travel, accommodation, and competition fees can be significant, and it can be difficult to access the same level of coaching and training.

Along with our support of charitable organisations and the Fresh Fruit Program, we proudly support individual sporting rising stars. By providing a financial contribution, we help the athlete and their family to overcome location challenges so they can focus on what they do best. In this case, basketball! Our sponsorship is not just about helping Mia achieve her individual goals; it’s also about investing in the future of regional sport.

“I am very grateful that McKern Steel have supported me with this sponsorship. Michael is a generous person and I really want to thank him. The sponsorship and support goes a long way towards expenses, for example: U16 Australian Junior Championships in Perth 2022 and 2023, and U18 Australian Junior Championships in Brisbane this April 2024. This support helps with the cost of these tournaments.” Said Mia.

The contribution also means Mia can access a Strength and Conditioning program which helps her to get even better in her sport.

“I have been playing basketball since about 2 years old in the backyard with Dad and my sister Lily. My first team environment was at about 5 years old and I also played with the U12 Braves when I was only 9 years old.”

Mia has followed the excellent pathway that Bendigo Basketball and Bendigo Braves provides, now playing in the U18s girls team in the Victorian Junior Basketball League, often played in Melbourne.

“I am very lucky to have this opportunity to know I can play at the highest level right here in Bendigo with the NBL1 and WNBL. I have also been fortunate enough to be selected in the High Performance Pathways for Basketball Victoria. I am currently in the State Development Program and can’t wait to represent Country Vic as a bottom ager for the U18 Australian Junior Championships in April this year.”

During 2023 Mia was Captain of the U16 Victoria Country State Team. The nine weeks preparation summary saw four weekends of Saturday and Sunday training all around the state. This was a total of 45-55 hours in the car and 80-90 hours of training in the lead up for the Australian Junior Championships.

“At the end of the day for me to get better I have to do whatever it takes and put in the hours.” Said Mia.

What a regular week looks like for Mia (around school!):

Monday: Strength and Conditioning session and SDP Training 
Tuesday: Youth League Braves/NBL1 Training & Domestic Competition
Wednesday: Strength and Conditioning session
Thursday: SDP Training before school Youth League Braves/NBL1 Training
Friday: Victoria Junior Basketball League (VJBL) Bendigo Braves U18 Girls
Saturday: Occasional rest depending on time of year
Sunday: U18 Victorian Country State Training
Training with the WNBL Bendigo Spirit in the school holidays  

“As parents we are proud of Mia. At this level it is a huge commitment, and she continues to grow as an athlete and a person. Mia has shown plenty of resilience along the way as her journey continues. We are very fortunate to have McKern Steel Foundation supporting Mia’s dreams and aspirations and we encourage other business in regional Victoria to also do the same as it goes a long way.” Ben & Kirstie Harvey.

We believe that by supporting young athletes like Mia, we can help to create a more vibrant and inclusive sporting landscape in Australia. We encourage other companies to follow our lead and invest in the future of regional sport. Together, we can make a difference!

Photo: Adam Bourke, Bendigo Advertiser