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Basketball NZ 'Hoops in schools' project returns

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

After launching the Hoops in School pilot in 2018, where 24 new street-hoops were installed throughout South Auckland, another 24 hoops are planned for 12 low decile schools across the Bay of Plenty thanks to the Lion Foundation, Tauranga City Basketball Association and Basketball New Zealand.

Work will be done this summer, with an official opening of the hoops expected early next year.

Tauranga Basketball Association General Manager Mark Rogers says the schools set to benefit from this project was simply could not afford these facilities on their very tight budgets.

"After seeing all the great work done in Auckland, we approached Basketball New Zealand to see if we could have something similar happen here in Tauranga. It’s brilliant that this project has been all signed off and we are set to get the hoops in the ground so, when the kids return to school next year, they will be playing the game and benefiting from all the great things that sport offers.

"We’re also looking to tailor programmes to each of the schools’ needs, which in doing so will help strengthen our ties with our community.

"We’re very thankful to the Lion Foundation and Basketball New Zealand for helping deliver this to our community," says Rogers.

Lion Foundation Grants Manager Tom Smith says the trust is pleased to be helping nurture the next generation of Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns.

"Basketball is a sport undergoing rapid growth and the Lion Foundation are happy to be doing their part in making the sport more accessible to communities.

"There are some great things being done within the sport in the region and the new hoops should help things stay pointed in the right direction."

BBNZ Chief Executive Iain Potter says a lack of facilities is the toughest barrier to basketball participation and there is high demand for hoops across New Zealand.

This project being rolled out will help fill this void, not by spending a fortune on unnecessary surfaces and high spec hoops, but instead a fit-for-purpose, robust basketball hoops in school grounds where some flat ground already exists.

"When we started this project, we wanted to see a great return on investment, which is what funders like the Lion Foundation want to see. The project needed to be cost efficient and really help create an opportunity to help the community thrive.

"This is second Hoops in School project comes eighteen months on from the South Auckland pilot. Feedback from those schools is that they now have teams playing in local competition, they have their own school teams, many of their pupils who never played basketball before now love the game, and the hoops are used constantly whereas before there was nothing or a broken hoop that didn’t suit at all.

"I think we just might see some future Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns emerge from these schools in future, because the game is now alive and well wherever this project goes," says Mr Potter.

Homai School in Manurewa was one of the first beneficiaries in the handing out of hoops and were followed by 11 other South Auckland Schools.

Among that dozen were Jean Batten School, who have seen positive outcomes since their courts were furnished.

Jean Batten School Principal Nardi Leonard says the new hoops have sparked "basketball galore" amongst her pupils.

"From 7:30am every weekday you will find a group of students bouncing a ball around on our courts, and this will continue right through break times and after school. Sometimes you’ll find a few on there an hour after school has finished!

"Basketball has basically gone from zero to top of the pops and this goes for both the boys and the girls. We’ve incorporated the sport into our physical education programme, and it’s been a real hit.

"We now have two teams participating in an inter-school league in Papatoetoe on Monday night and starting next year basketball will be included in our Sports Cluster."

The hoops are expected to be installed by the time pupils return to school next year.

Tauranga Schools to benefit from Basketball New Zealand’s Hoops in Schools project:

Te Kura Mana Maori o Matahi

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Kura Kokiri

Te Puke Primary

Arataki Primary School

Greerton Vilage School

Te Kura o Matapihi

Murupara Area School

Edgecumbe School

Taneatua Primary

Gate Pa School

Welcome Bay School

Woodlands Primary School

South Auckland Schools that benefited from Basketball New Zealand’s Hoops in Schools project (installed May 2018):

Homai School

Jean Batten School

Finlayson Park School

Leabank Primary School

Roscommon School

Randwick Park School

Wymondley Road Primary School

Rowandale School

Manurewa West School

Clendon Park School

Manurewa South School

Weymouth Primary School

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