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Volume 7 No. 149


The South Australia state government will meet with "cash-strapped" Women's National Basketball League team Adelaide Lightning but will not "guarantee its future" as former players Rachael Sporn and Jan Stirling "plea for public and corporate support" to save the team, according to Reece Homfray of THE ADVERTISER. A day after the club "called for help" to cover its A$500,000 ($361,500)-a-season running costs "or be forced to hand back" the license, South Australia Sports Minister Corey Wingard said that he would meet with club CEO Ben Kavenagh to "try to find a solution." Basketball Australia, which runs the WNBL, also said that it would do "everything in our power" to "help find a major sponsor or investor to stop the team from folding after this season." Wingard said that the government already contributed A$150,000 ($108,000) a year to the Lightning through a Motor Accident Commission partnership. It added that covering A$500,000 in recurrent fees every year was an "expensive proposition." Wingard said, "I'm happy to talk to Ben and have a listen (but) if you start doing it for one (national team), you’ll have them all knocking down your door and that could get quite cumbersome" (THE ADVERTISER, 11/26). FOX SPORTS' Ben Waterworth reported Kavenagh said that it is "time to share the responsibility" after Adelaide Basketball’s A$1M ($720,000) investment over the past two years. Kavenagh said, "We have made this announcement to encourage another investor to come forward and work with Adelaide Basketball to give the Adelaide Lightning team the resources and focus that it deserves. Adelaide Basketball has worked tirelessly in its support of women’s basketball in South Australia, but with a lack of community support, it is economically difficult" (FOX SPORTS, 11/26).