New basketball court a hit with the kids

June 2021

The awesome action-packed opening of Flaxmere’s brand new basketball court drew a huge crowd to Ron Giorgi Park III on June 13.

“It’s brilliant,” said Hastings District councillor and Hastings Ambassador Henare O’Keefe, who emceed the day. “So many of our kids love basketball and they turned out in droves to help us celebrate this new court, which is going to be so well-used.”

On opening day, on-court drills and competitions were hugely popular, led by Tall Black Tom Abercrombie, ably assisted by Hawks and Tall Blacks Derone Raukawa and Ethan Rusbatch, and Tall Fern squad member Tayla Dalton. There were lots of giveaways, and the player stars were happy to sign balls and shirts. “There were kids everywhere, all with huge smiles on their faces,” said Mr O’Keefe.

Littlies were not left out, with a pop-up play area also flat-out over the two-hour celebration, while a free barbecue dished out nearly more than 300 sausages. The following day, four Flaxmere primary schools fronted teams, for a 3x3 competition.

The court is part of a new scheme, Hoops in Parks, being trialled in Flaxmere; a collaboration between Hastings District Council, Basketball New Zealand, Basketball Hawke’s Bay, and Sport Hawke’s Bay. It is an extension of Basketball New Zealand’s Hoops in Schools programme

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