Our kids are loving basketball
A bunch of happy circumstances has meant that 90-odd kids are now having a ball on Friday afternoons – scooting around the indoor basketball court at the Flaxmere Community Centre.
The first was the arrival of Community Constable Damion Davies three years ago, the second was his love of basketball (10 years playing for the Hawks in his younger days), the third the availability of a court ready for the young basketballers, and the fourth, and most important, a screed of kids ready and willing to play the game.
The Super Sixes school league, for year 5 to 8 students, is in its third year – and Damion reckons the kids love the game just as much as he does. “They really look forward to it all year; they are queuing up.”
The youngsters come from all six primary schools in Flaxmere as well as the kura kaupapa and primary school in Bridge Pa. The school league has grown to eight teams, averaging 11 a team, and the whole lot of them get a game between 3pm and 6pm every Friday.
Feedback from school principals is positive too. “It can be hard to keep kids motivated in that last term of the year and playing basketball seems to be doing it for these kids; that’s an added bonus,” Damion says.
Flaxmere’s Super Sixes grew out of a real desire by the local kids to play the game. With the nearest school league nearly 10kms away in Hastings – too far for the kids to travel on their own, and too difficult to organise mass transport – Damion took on the challenge of setting up a league in Flaxmere.
And on his wish-list now? Another court, he says; then even more kids can play.