The 2018 Schick Championships will celebrate 50 years of secondary school basketball when it’s held in Palmerston North this coming October. The inaugural event was in 1968.
Basketball New Zealand Chief Executive Iain Potter says the event has grown not only to become the pinnacle event on the New Zealand Secondary Schools basketball calendar, but also a major New Zealand event in its own right.
“Basketball participation in New Zealand is continuing its incredible growth and is still well on track to be New Zealand’s most popular secondary school sport by the year 2020. With that comes great interest in the Schick Championships.
“The event is becoming a major calendar event on New Zealand’s sporting calendar. Schools and their communities around New Zealand love this tournament. The last couple of years have seen huge crowds attend the finals.
“During the last 50 years, basketball in this country has grown from a minor sport to a major one. With the backing of major sponsors like Schick, and fantastic support from Maori Television, Sport Manawatu and the Palmerston North City Council, this tournament will only get better,” said Potter.
Andre De Beer, Business Director at Schick New Zealand, says their partnership with basketball has been fantastic and they look forward to their support this year.
“The Schick brand shares a common goal with the talented young people who take part in the secondary schools championships every year – the pursuit of excellence. Through our partnership with Basketball New Zealand for the Schick Championships we are thrilled to be supporting the next generation of Kiwi basketball superstars and if the last 50 years is anything to go by, we are very excited to see what the future holds for this sport,” says Mr De Beer.
Sport Manawatu will continue their partnership with Basketball New Zealand to bring the event to Palmerston North and CEO Trevor Shailer is equally enthusiastic.
“Sport Manawatu has been involved with the Secondary Schools National Championships, now the Schick Championships, for nine of the last ten years. It has been our absolute pleasure to be involved with the event and all it does for our region. This year we are working closely with Basketball New Zealand and Basketball Manawatu to grow the capability and capacity of our region’s workforce for the benefit of the wider basketball community,” said Shailer.
Basketball New Zealand will be celebrating the 50 years milestone by calling for previous players, coaches and officials from those early years to come forward with stories and paraphernalia to help showcase the history of New Zealand secondary school at the next event. People can contact BBNZ@nz.basketball
The 2018 Schick Championships will be played from 1 to 6 October at Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North.