Kiwi DIY at its finest – when builders were doing some maintenance Gisborne’s Cobham School earlier this year, they saw the pupils playing basketball with no hoop at all – 100% air balls. Thinking fast, the builders knocked the base out of a paint bucket and nailed it to a piece of plywood – a hoop was created.
Now the 42 students have seen upgrade 2.0 – from paint-bucket to two height-adjustable robust street-hoops, thanks to Turanga Health, the Gisborne Basketball Association and Basketball New Zealand’s (BBNZ) Hoops in Schools project.
Cobham is the 28th school that has benefitted from BBNZ’s Hoops In Schools, which has been in action since May 2018. Cobham is probably the smallest school to benefit yet – the decile one kura has a school roll of 42 pupils. Principal Gina Holmes says the hoops have already created a new culture of sport and community.
“We didn’t have any hoops at the start of the year. The tamariki were pretty happy with their bucket hoop and that became our new norm. We are a kura that is grateful for small mercies. So, imagine just how overwhelmed we all were when we saw these amazing hoops?
“Basketball is now added value and meaning to our tamariki. The hoops have provided hope, renewed enthusiasm, experiences and opportunities that we wouldn’t have had prior. Basketball will be added to the 2021 curriculum,” says Holmes.
Funding is tight for extra curriculars and Holmes says it is “beyond difficult” getting sports facilities funded.
“To have hoops like this in the kura, in the community, is just unheard of. Our funding each year would never cover new hoops. It would have taken years of fundraising for a small kura like us.
“I am so very grateful and thankful to all involved. My heart is in the kura, with our tamariki and I only ever want to be able to provide opportunities and experiences for them, that is equal to that of every other school kid in NZ. They deserve that. If not more. This wouldn’t have been possible without all involved.”
Basketball New Zealand’s mission is to get a ‘hoop in the heart of every neighborhood’. Chief Executive, Iain Potter, says Hoops In Schools has evolved incrementally during the past four years.
“We have built up the resources, connections and understanding of the funding process to get more hoops into communities. One of the big challenges in our sport is good facilities. Indoor facilities are often booked up and expensive to hire. We have been looking to get hoops into outdoor environments, but in places that will really be used. Schools in need really appreciate and embrace these new hoops – they really look after the hoops and use them every day.
“A beautiful benefit is that the new hoops always seem to draw people from outside the school to the school and community – it widens participation, brings people together and gets the kids into something wonderfully positive. We’ve seen these schools go from not having any basketball to running teams in leagues, and getting parents and families involved.
We love this project. We can prove it creates something special every time and that is priceless. We know how to prove that now, so it becomes a no-brainer for funders to back it,” says Potter.
Basketball is growing rapidly in New Zealand – it is the second largest secondary school sport in the country after a massive 45% increase in players over the past decade. Junior numbers are surging too – BBNZ’s national junior programme has experienced a 220% increase in five years.
BBNZ is now working to get Hoops In Schools rolled out in Nelson, Whanganui and Wellington.
Schools where the Basketball NZ Hoops in Schools Project has been rolled out:
Gisborne (October 2020)
- Cobham School
Hawke’s Bay schools that benefited from Basketball New Zealand’s Hoops in Schools project (installed in May & June 2020):
- Mayfair School
- Tamatea High School
- Kimi Ora School
Tauranga schools that benefited from Basketball New Zealand’s Hoops in Schools project (installed in March 2020):
- Te Kura Mana Maori o Matahi
- Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Kura Kokiri
- Te Puke Primary
- Arataki Primary School
- Greerton Village 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