Club History​​​

The Sydenham Panthers Basketball Club was originally established in 1995 as the Sydenham Saints Basketball Club with the financial and administrative support of the  Salvation Army church. On January 27th 1995 Peter Harding and Andrew Clinch pproached the Keilor Salvation Army to propose starting  a junior basketball club for the community, and whether they would support the club financially. As both members of the Salvos, the then ministers, Cameron and Sue Wallace were very supportive and the club was founded.  Its founding name was the Keilor Salvation Army  Basketball Club.

The support and effort by the Salvation Army was vital  to the establishment of what is now, the Sydenham Saints Basketball Club and without it, the Club would not be as strong and vibrant  as it is today.  

Originally the teams were known by the abbreviation “Salvo Saints”.  The Club’s first season started in June 1995 and the Club fielded 9 teams in that first season:

            – U18 boys, U16 boys, U14 boys, 2 U12 boys, 2 U10 boys, U14 girls and  U12 girls.

The initial committee consisted of : Cameron Wallace – President, Andrew Clinch – Secretary, Lyn Harding – Treasurer,  Peter Harding – Coaches Advisor, Roy and Robyn Harding as well as Gary Grant (Committee Members). The first official meeting took place at Lyn and Peter’s house on 23rd March 1995. Since then many people have been on the committee, more Harding’s than we can count. Names like Mike, Joanne, Chris and Katie Malane, John and Mary Parrino, Geoff and Diane Lukey, Helen Chetcuti, Roslyn Haig, Julie Myska, Roger Dale, Neil and Lisa Jackson along will all their kids who coached, Maria and Tony Barba, Teena and David Higgins as well as their kids who also coached.

In more recent times, to recognise the more diverse members and the closer assocation with the local area, the Club and the Salvation Army agreed to formally separate and the Club is now financially  and functionally independent from the Salvation Army. In 2017 the club changed it’s name and logo to separate itself from other “saints” teams within the Keilor Basketball Association.

Sydenham Panthers  Basketball Club’s is indebited to the Salvation Army and it’s personnel for their support and dedication. The heritage of the Club is intertwined with the Salvation Army  support of the Sydenham and Keilor region. 

The number of teams has grown over the years to its current peak of over 30 teams including  more than 10 girls teams and 20 boys teams.  To recognise Peter Harding’s  contributions to the Club’s success a perpetual trophy was created in 2016, in his honour (more of  Peter Harding’s contributions to the Club noted below in the extended history). This trophy is  awarded annually to a person nominated by Club members and determined by the committee to have made significant 
contributions to the Club in the preceding 12  months. The trophy is awarded annually. 

 Winners of Peter Harding Perpet Trophy              

  • 2016                 Peter Brooker​
  • 2017 Grant Francis
  • 2018 Brett Weedon

Information about the Club and Age Groups for Teams  Sydenham Saints Basketball Club competes in the Keilor Junior Basketball Association. There are
two seasons for the Keilor Association:
       – Summer which runs from the start of the 4th term of the year through to the end of the 1st term in the following year, an
       – Winter which runs from the start of 2nd term through to the end of 3rd year.
Both seasons are approximately 15 weeks long followed by a finals series over 4 weeks. Competitions are graded from A to E grade.

The Club will place teams in a grade that is suitable for the skill level of the players in that team- ideally a level that provides a level of challenge which helps the players to improve their skill level and allows them to be competitive. 

The age groups for both boys and girls are Under 10, Under 12, Under 14, Under 16 and Under 19 .

  • U10   year of birth 2011, 2012 and 2013
  • U12  year of birth 2009 & 2010
  • U14  year of birth 2007 & 2008
  • U16  year of birth 2005 & 2006
  • U19  year of birth 2002, 2003 and 2004

In both boys and girls the Under 10 teams cater for children from 7 years old. Younger children may be considered to participate in training to assist with their skills development.
Further History

1997      Saw the club’s first constitution written by Peter Harding, that has evolved a little over the years but the majority is still the same. During this time the club needed a database which Peter Harding produced.

1997       Unfortunately due to personal reasons Andrew Clinch had to resign and leave the club in 1997. Roy took over Andrew’s place as secretary for a year, then Peter stepped in in 1997 as caretaker and remained until 2013.

1998       On 30th June 1998 we had our first AGM. Our turnover for the year was $11K. At the same time Peter was officially elected as the Secretary of the club and also in a separate meeting the same year as KBAJ President (called the Convenor back then) and also a member of the KBA board.

1999       The Salvation Army moved Cameron Wallace and his family to Bendigo and we lost the 2nd of the club founders. 

2001        Saw our first ever website written by Peter Harding

2003       The Club fielded 34 teams, a record and still run by a small committee of 6. Busy times and the club was going strong. We ran 3 training venues having moved from Overnewton to Delahey and Sydenham Primary School, we added Kings Park to the list. We still us these 3 venues.