South Auckland was the first region to benefit from the Hoops in Schools programme when it launched in 2018 and the impact it has had cannot be understated.
The hoop installations (twenty-four in total) across 12 schools in the catchment gave students and the community access to state-of-the-art basketball equipment and helped build awareness around the pathways that exist in the sport.
Jean Batten School are one of many schools who went on to incorporate basketball into their PE curriculum and have made proper use of their hoops after receiving them.
“It has been the best thing that has happened to Jean Batten School. Our courts are the most popular sports area during break time and get thrashed,” says Jean Batten School Principal Nardi Leonard.
“Since having the hoops installed our participation numbers have gone from zero to regularly fielding 6 plus teams in a local basketball league.
“All students regardless of skill level enjoy shooting hoops. Basketball is certainly our number one sport now.
“Jean Batten School is genuinely thankful being part of the Hoops in Schools Programme.”
The Hoops in Schools programme was set up to give tamariki and rangatahi a resource to keep physically active and help cater for basketball’s rapid growth in participation across the country.
The South Auckland pilot was a collaboration between Basketball New Zealand, ABSL, Sports Pathways Trust and supported by the Lion Foundation.
In short, it puts more fit-for-purpose hoops in schools which then allows for more basketball to be played and better opportunities for our young people to have more fun.
Tall Black captain Tom Abercrombie has been one of the programmes biggest champions, having attended all but one of the launches since its inception.
“It has been an enriching experience to see the huge impact the hoops are having in their local communities.
“Three years on, the hoops are still going strong, and the feeling of fulfilment only continues to grow as I’ve seen some of the long-term impacts of this project.
“Basketball is bringing the communities closer together and getting kids active which is what it’s all about!”
Since the South Auckland pilot, a further 52 hoops have been installed across 20 schools in Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne and Whanganui.
More information about the programme can be found here.