Kangaroos Willebroek moves next season to Mechelen. That made the basketbaleersteklasser Thursday at a press conference known. The club will do that in order to meet the licensing requirements of the Pro Baskeball League, which the club in its first seasons, a respite. The infrastructure in the municipality of Willebroek does not meet the strict requirements of the Pro League.
“With the municipality of Willebroek, there is multiple solutions to in sports The Schalk or within the city boundaries. Unfortunately, it was not possible to in the short term to the requirements of the Pro League to comply, the existence of the club to continue to provide and further growth to achieve”, explains chairman Luc Katra. “After five seasons in the first division in Willebroek played, we will move to Mechelen.”
“The decision to take the club to move to Mechelen, thanks to the positive reception from the city, where one can look back on the successes of the former Racing Mechelen. If our budget allows, we want to be on that plane no risk, we want to again European basketball to Mechelen.”
Next season will Kangaroes Basket Willebroek be renamed to Kangaroos Basketball Mechelen. Also, there will a merger take place with Pitzemburg Basket Mechelen. The discussions about how that merger, the concrete is going to work, will next week start. “On the principle of the merger is the decision taken, but the lines should still be turned off. We want a joint operation is maintained in both Willebroek as Mechelen, with respectively their own academies. In the medium term will be the competitions in Mechelen move from the Winketkaai (1.500 places) to the yet to build up top in the Arsenal district on the Ragheno site behind the railway station of Mechelen.”
The city of Mechelen has a number of investments are planned for the housing to prepare for. So will the middle field to be modified (new lines, basketbaldoelen, additional lighting), a new tournament table and scoreboard be fitted and will the sports hall be refreshed. The Kangaroos will also apply for a building permit for the extension of the sports hall with a VIP room of more than 200 square metres. Still, this is but a temporary accommodation. In the long term will be the development Arsenal/Ragheno (behind the station) offer more possibilities.
“The establishment of a eersteklasseploeg will ensure that the basket will be alive in Mechelen. At the same time, the Kangaroos, the attention and the audience they deserve and that I can as ships of the Sport, and, of course, only applaud,” said Walter Schroons. The ships of Sport is convinced that the merger also Basketball Pitzemburg is a good thing: “With combined forces can both teams achieve much more.”
“This is a good thing for the Belgian basketball for the Kangaroos and for Mechelen”, said Arthur Goethals, chairman of the Pro Basketball League. “This is a tremendous step forward for the Kangaroos. I am glad that they choose for this project in Mechelen, where there is a large basketbaltraditie is and where they will play in a hall in which basketbalgeschiedenis gechreven.”
The Winketkaai was 26 years (1969-1995), the home of Racing Mechelen, with players like Rik Samaey, Eric Struelens, Marc Deheneffe and Bill Varner for a long time the Belgian basketball dominated. The club was fifteen times champion of Belgium, won nine times the cup and kicked it in 1973 as a finalist in the European Korac Cup (ULEB Cup). After 34 years eersteklassebasketbal (1961-1995) and 26 European campaigns merged Mechelen in 1995 with Sobabee to Basket Antwrp, the current Antwerp Giants.
Kangaroos was founded in 2009 and moved in 2013 after the promotion to first class from tree to Tree Schalk (1,200 spaces) in Willebroek.