The Basketball New Zealand ‘Hoops in Schools’ programme, which helps install quality fit-for-purpose basketball hoops in schools throughout New Zealand, will be rolled out in Taranaki early next year.

The good news was announced today after funding was agreed by NZCT, with support from Basketball Taranaki, Taranaki Mountainairs and Sport Taranaki.

The project will see 24 hoops are destined for 12 primary schools throughout Waitara, Hawera, Patea, Stratford, Inglewood, New Plymouth, Opunake, and Eltham/Normanby. Each hoop is fit-for-purpose, with the ability to be raised and lowered for different age-groups, and with street-hoop strength to endure the heaviest of dunks. It’s expected the hoops will be installed early next year.

Basketball Taranaki General Manager, Kevin Fenwick, says this is another great boost for the region, where basketball is increasingly getting more support as the basketball’s presence increases. This follows the recent announcement of Pero Cameron as the Director of Basketball for Taranaki Mountainairs in addition to his role as Tall Blacks Head Coach.

“We are so privileged to have NZCT get in behind and support such a wonderful community-based initiative. Twelve schools across Taranaki, their students and local communities, will all benefit by having basketball hoops installed on their premises. These will be available to use literally 24/7 and will encourage and promote active movement and social engagement amongst those communities. I can’t wait to see this project come to fruition in 2022.”

The initiative comes at the perfect time in the region, with Sport Taranaki’s Healthy Active Learning advisors working with 30 schools across Taranaki to improve the wellbeing of children and young people, through healthy eating and drinking and quality physical activity, according to Healthy Active Learning Lead Chris McLean.

“Helping connect schools with this sort of initiative is just the sort of thing our advisors can help with, so we were more than happy to help and assist with this,” says McLean.

Sport Taranaki Community Engagement Advisor Marina Healey is also thrilled to see the green light.

“Getting these hoops round the region gives our tamariki and rangatahi more options to have some fun, get active and catch up with their mates.”

Basketball New Zealand’s Dan Dawick who leads the Hoops in Schools project nationwide says more regions are seeing the value of the project and contacting the organisation for information on how to roll out the initiative locally.

“The results from previous roll outs have proven Hoops in Schools brings people together, encourages physical activity and it’s incredibly positive.

“We’ve received fantastic feedback from teachers and parents from all the schools that have benefitted from Hoops in Schools. These fit-for-purpose hoops fosters the love of basketball tremendously and the schools have found the local community really taking pride in the new facilities.

“Once these hoops have been installed in Taranaki, it will bring the tally to 88 hoops placed in 44 schools across New Zealand. And there are more to come – another two applications in other regions are currently being considered,” says Dawick.

Read more about Hoops in Schools here.