My Place

Mollie van der Linden. (Provided)

Mollie van der Linden is a Melton South teenager who last year was named one of Melton council’s Young Citizens of the Year for her volunteer work with Specialist Hoops – A basketball program that works to get kids and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities involved in the sport in Melton and Bacchus Marsh. She spoke to Star Weekly about her connection to the area.

Tell us a bit about you and what you do?

I am currently studying year 11 at Staughton College, I’m a basketball coach for Wolfpack Basketball and Specialist Hoops Basketball, as-well as a representative player for Bacchus Marsh Under 18 Girls. Aside all of this I play basketball for Melton Under 18 domestic for Wolfpack and Bacchus Marsh Panthers Under 19 domestic.

Tell us about your work with Specialist Hoops?

At Specialist Hoops I particularly help out with the senior group but will also lend a hand if the junior group needs help. I run short interval activities with the senior group which includes shooting, passing, dribbling and even some mini matches.

Tell us about the Young Citizen of the Year award, how did it feel to be recognised?

I received the Young Citizen of The Year Award of 2024 for my contribution to Specialist Hoops Basketball. I was very honoured to be receiving this award and very surprised to be nominated by Emily Attard and Specialist Hoops. It feels amazing to be recognised for the work I do for the community. I am currently in my fifth year of volunteering for this amazing organisation.

What’s your connection to Melton?

I have lived in Melton for the last 15 years and I love what the community offers including MacPherson Park, Melton Waves and Basketball Stadiums.

What do you like about where you live?

I like how it has developed into a multicultural suburb with people all around the world coming to live here as their forever home.

What, if anything, would you change about where you live?

I personally believe that there is nothing that needs to be changed about Melton as it’s a loving community.

Where is your favourite local place to spend time?

I like to spend my free time at Cobblebank Basketball Stadium, my weeks involve either coaching basketball or playing basketball and I spend the majority of my free time at the basketball stadium.

Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you.

It surprises people when I say that I’m studying to become a sport physiotherapist

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I would like to say thank you to Emily Attard and Specialist Hoops Basketball for giving me many opportunities to become who I am today