MORE than 70 children from East Derwent, Herdsman’s Cove, Gagebrook and St Paul’s Primary Schools recently took to the court during an eight-week Active After School Communities (AASC) basketball roster.
Separate Wednesday afternoon rosters were conducted for boys and girls at Police and Community Youth Club (PCYC) Bridgewater and the new gym at Jordan River Middle School. This offered the children a chance to try basket all in a fun, safe and friendly environment with trained AASC community coaches.
The basketball roster was coordinate by the Australian Governments’ AASC program, with support from a number of community organisations including Basketball Tasmania, Hobart Chargers Basketball Club, Brighton Council and PCYC Bridgewater.
AASC regional coordinator Neil Connell said: “The rosters not only provide a great opportunity for kids to get active but they also provide essential links with local community sporting clubs.
“The program is about encouraging children of all levels and abilities to try their hand at basketball, while also having fun, making friends, learning new skills, and most importantly, getting active.
“We hope that this will encourage kids to join a local sporting club and be involved in basketball on a regular basis,” Connell said.
Hobart Lady Chargers star player and AASC community coach Myra Donkin said: “There has been a great success and it’s great to see so many kids in the Bridgewater and Gagebrook area really enjoying basketball and getting active.
“The AASC program has provided a great opportunity for us to introduce a great number of kids to the game of basketball,” she said.
The Hobart Chargers provided tickets to the kids and their parents to a recent Australian Basketball League South East home game last month, with PCYC Bridgewater providing bus transportation to and from Aurora Sports Stadium.
PCYC Bridgewater also provided weekly bus transportation to and from each school to the basketball roster venues for a full eight weeks. A number of participants loved the experience so much that they will form three new teams to represent PCYC Bridgewater in the upcoming Clarence Basketball Association junior competition.
The AASC program is an Australian Government program managed by the Australian Sports Commission in up to 3270 schools and out-of-school hour care services across Australia. The program is free of charge and encourages primary school-aged children to become physically active and enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.