When Professional Baskeballer and Opal team member, Abby Bishop gained full custody of her sister’s child Zala last year; she didn’t predict she would have to turn around and quit the professional game she loved.

The 27 year old took custody of her niece back in August 2013 when she was just two days old and Zala had become a regular courtside for all of Abby’s games and commitments. That changed in 2014 with Abby putting her family before her international career a ruling was handed down.



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Despite Abby’s requests for assistance with childcare costs, Basketball Australia ruled that during competition time, Abby would be solely responsible for all flights; accommodation and child care costs associated with Zala. This ruling was put under review immediately and now, there has been a positive outcome.

Yesterday Basketball Australia reversed their decision and has now agreed to cover some of the costs incurred.  Abby explained in an interview with the ABC,

“Obviously there was a bit of history there, with the whole Zala thing, but I’ve put that behind me, and my agent’s been working really hard with Basketball Australia,” she said.

“They’re definitely going to help me in some kind of way, whether that’s flights or paying for my nanny.  She [Zala] will always come first, but I’m just really happy…that [Basketball Australia] are now willing to help me to an extent and I was never asking for too much.”

Abby will now travel with the Opal team to Rio de Janeiro next month for the Olympics test event.  She says she is, “really excited to be back in the program and feels privileged to be able to go back in after sitting out for a year.”

Does your employer assist you with childcare costs?  Leave us a comment and share your experience!

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  • this is lovely – my boss used to pay for my home to be cleaned each week as a thank you…..


  • Would be great if men and woman could be treated the same and given the same benefits


  • Glad to read that basketball Australia changed their mind on this.


  • Men’s sports always seems to get all of the extras and it is good to see that Women’s sport is catching up!


  • Abby has done a wonderful thing in giving her niece a loving home. I am glad Basketball Australia are now helping her out.


  • its hard that some sports are not paid well enough to just do that as your main job. i know things are changing slowly but it needs to hurry up and change and spread the budgets around to the sports that dont attract huge crowds like football, cricket, soccer and rugby. all the other sports seem to struggle and you dont earn enough to have that as your career despite the time and commitment you have to make to train daily, travel and play.

    • I have three kids who represent Australia in their chosen sport of korfball……a little known but international sport. The kids have to work to pay ALL costs including travel, accommodation, uniforms, training costs as well as put in many hours training. They also have to take their holidays to travel to tournaments. A fairer system of grants/handouts would be terrific!


  • yeah that was a little win for her, wasn’t it! it is good they helped her


  • I’m glad basketball Australia changed their mind and decided to help.


  • Well great decision, eventually, by Basketball Australia! Goodluck on your return to the Opals, Abbey and all the best for whatever the future holds for you, Zala and family!


  • Children do come first – but I would suggest that playing basketball was Abby’s income source – so hard decision to make in terms on wanting to ensure Financial stability for Zala’s upbringing. Glad it all worked out for her in the end.


  • Children come first – good on her for hiding firm and fantastic to see this positive outcome.


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