Hoops in Parks construction underway in Flaxmere

Basketball New Zealand’s community hoops projects continue to thrive, with the Hoops in Parks pilot breaking ground. Construction is finally underway in Flaxmere, Hastings.

Hoops in Parks is an initiative that was devised by Basketball New Zealand and Hastings District Council in 2020, in collaboration with Basketball Hawke’s Bay and Sport Hawke’s Bay. Much like Hoops in Schools, Hoops in Parks aims to address the lack of suitable facilities. This is done by creating quality, sustainable, long term opportunities for the local communities to play basketball in outdoor locations.

Work has now commenced on the first court in Ron Giorgi III Park. Planning is underway for one in Flaxmere Park and an additional court is in the works with the location yet to be determined.

Hastings District Council’s Public Spaces Planning Manager Rachel Stuart said the Hoops in Parks project is an excellent example of what can be achieved when like-minded organisations work together.

“Hoops in Parks, which grew out of Basketball New Zealand’s Hoops in Schools programme, is something Council fully supports. We are focused on activating our public spaces and as basketball is such a popular sport, this made perfect sense to us.

“It has been a real pleasure to work with Basketball New Zealand, Basketball Hawke’s Bay and Sport Hawke’s Bay on this programme.”

Basketball New Zealand’s Manager of Development and Technology, Daniel Dawick, said that it was exciting to finally see the project underway.

“What started as a simple conversation between Hastings District Council and BBNZ has now resulted in three bespoke outdoor basketball courts being constructed for our tamariki and rangatahi to continue to hoop.

“It’s also the impact and legacy that these courts will leave in the wider community – they’re strategically located hubs for everybody to use, and we know the community of Flaxmere will be using these hoops day and night! Most of Flaxmere will be just a 10-minute walk from a brand-new full-sized basketball court once the project has been completed.

“None of this would have been achievable if it hadn’t been for the support and vision of Hastings District Council, Basketball Hawke’s Bay, Sport Hawke’s Bay and local funders who we are very appreciative of. This is a collaborative project that we want to take to other regions to give communities better accessibility to play basketball.”

Basketball Hawke’s Bay General Manager, Nick Hogan, echoed the same sentiments.

“Since Hoops in Parks started in 2020 with the key partners, there has been a huge amount of effort put in behind the scenes to get funding, consult the public on desired locations and get the right designs. We are excited now to be breaking ground on the first of a three-stage project and get some well-needed hoops in the community of Flaxmere.

“It is hoped that this pilot can be used as a template of other regions and locations, showing how putting hoops in the right place can make a big difference to the community. We have already seen the benefit of the Hoops in Schools being rolled out in Hawkes Bay. The extension of this has been working with local councils to put hoops in public spaces, which is surely one that others can and will want to follow.”

The first new court will officially be opened at a launch event in June – details to be confirmed.