Last week Saraid Taylor was voted by both players and coaches as captain for the upcoming NBL1 South 2021 Season.

”Firstly, I would like to extend my gratitude to the playing group, coaches and the entire board — it is such an honour.”

“Frankston is an incredible club and I feel really humbled to be able to represent it as an athlete, and now, as a leader. I sound repetitive, but the values the Association fosters, as both a sporting body and extension of the community, are ones I am very passionate about.”

“Because ultimately it transcends basketball. Sport offers us a platform to make positive, tangible change, and I think when given that opportunity, there is an obligation that we take it.”

Taylor first played for the Blues in 2019, averaging 10.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game, and was one of only 2 players in the team to play all 20 regular-season games.

“This is my third year with the Blues. Even though 2020, as my second season, was so disjointed we were never even able to play, I honestly still count it. Because I never felt like I was not a Frankston player.””

“The burden of the Covid pandemic was carried into all corners of society, including Victoria’s basketball associations. But what I am so grateful for is the way in which Frankston persisted in engaging and caring for their athletes, from a junior to senior level.”

“Wayne made an effort to call me numerous times and keep me updated, especially when the start of the 2020 season was being regularly delayed and there were whispers it would be cancelled. Jarryd checked in, too, and continued to provide opportunities to connect with the Frankston basketball family — which usually involved a bunch of Blues kids watching in faint bemusement as I loped around with a couple of basketballs on the other end of a Zoom call. Snelly also often reached out, and her level of communication was very appreciated in such a disconcerting time.”

“That investment in connections absolutely shows the calibre of this club. How much it surpasses being a sport association — it is a necessary, powerful contributor to the community, and again I am just grateful.”

Taylor spoke about her leadership style and developing a culture of leaders.

“Hm, I would describe my leadership style as able to give instruction and to take instruction. I am assertive when necessary, but otherwise, I prefer to be malleable. Because I really enjoy the collaborative nature of leadership; the connections and mutual learning that occurs for everybody.”

“So, for me the most conducive leadership is one that utilises empathy and democracy. And I would like to think I can develop a culture where everybody feels like they’re in a position to be leaders themselves.”

“Which means I am particularly excited about the structure Snelly and Jo have implemented — having a leadership group is inherently synergetic in nature. Ultimately, though, I extend that excitement to the entire team that has been put together. It is a fun, hardworking, talented group, and we will be looking to conduct ourselves with a level of professionalism and spirit both on and off the court that makes the Frankston community proud.”

The NBL1 South 2021 Season starts April 17th as the Frankston Blues take on the Nunawading Spectres.