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'Beautiful purple basketball court open for everybody' in Flaxmere

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The fences are down and the action is on at Hastings’ premier public basketball court!

The brand-new court on Flaxmere Park, with its top-of-the-line hoops and brilliantly purple synthetic turf, was officially opened with a school skills day on Monday [December 6].

Students from Flaxmere College, Flaxmere Primary School, Irongate School and Peterhead School were put through their paces by New Zealand basketball royalty, including Tall Black’s head coach Pero Cameron, Tall Fern Lauryn Hippolite, Hawks player and former Tall Black Everard Bartlett, and former Tall Black and New Zealand Breakers player Hayden Allen.

Because of COVID restrictions the opening was limited to the local schools. Each school had just over an hour on the new courts.

The court is the second Hoops in Parks facility to be installed in Flaxmere, made possible through a partnership between Hastings District Council, Basketball New Zealand, Basketball Hawke’s Bay and Sport Hawke’s Bay, with the Flaxmere Park court supported with funding from Eastern and Central Community Trust. The first was on Ron Giorgi Park III, opened earlier this year. The programme is a trial for a national roll-out of courts, aimed at making basketball facilities more accessible to communities.

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst and Flaxmere councillors Henare O’Keefe and Peleti Oli were at the court to see the action.

"This court is the perfect addition to Flaxmere Park and I know that it will be very well-used by our families from Flaxmere and wider Hastings," said Mrs Hazlehurst. "This park was named New Zealand’s Most Active Park 2020, and it really is living up to its title."

The Council is determined to ensure facilities match the needs of Flaxmere residents.

"The community let us know how popular basketball is in Flaxmere and that they were really short of facilities. By working with our partners, we’ve been able to address that. Flaxmere is growing, and it really is its time to shine."

Basketball New Zealand’s Hoops In Parks project lead, Daniel Dawick, said the public response to the new facilities in Flaxmere had been fantastic.

"While it is about making basketball more accessible it’s not only that; it’s about helping our kids to improve their well-being by giving them opportunities to be physically active."

The completion of the new basketball court will be followed by the installation of a moveable pump track in a couple of weeks. It will be on Flaxmere Park for about three months, after which the construction of the new skate plaza will start.

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