Staff, stu­dents have a ball on new courts

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - Te­gan Guthrie

A funky new bas­ket­ball court at O’Con­nor Pri­mary School has been a welcome up­grade for both stu­dents and staff.

Com­pleted ear­lier this week, the new ar­ti­fi­cial turf courts have proven to be not only safer than the orig­i­nal style, but far more aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing to the school com­mu­nity.

Deputy prin­ci­pal Candice Brown said there had been a flood of both chil­dren and staff on the courts since the of­fi­cial open­ing on Thurs­day.

“Our old bas­ket­ball courts were in quite poor con­di­tion and we couldn’t use them much be­cause if we did and a child fell over, they al­ways ended up quite hurt … now it is just like fall­ing on car­pet,” Mrs Brown said.

“The first re­cess time we had it opened, I think we had about 250 kids out there, and there wasn’t one prob­lem, they just played a bit of bas­ket­ball and had a run around.

“Be­ing such a large school, we re­ally need to utilise all of our spa­ces around the school grounds to make sure we are not too crowded, and hav­ing the bas­ket­ball courts back is re­ally great for that.”

The school orig­i­nally looked at re­do­ing the courts with the same bi­tu­men as be­fore, but the costs were “as­tro­nom­i­cal”.

“We found quite a few schools across the State … were us­ing this, and it stood the test of harsh en­vi­ron­ments and also looks good,” Mrs Brown said. “We are look­ing at pos­si­bly re­do­ing one of the ju­nior ar­eas and putting some hop­scotch, four square and things like that with the same turf.”

While used pre­dom­i­nantly for net­ball and bas­ket­ball, the courts can also cater for hockey and vol­ley­ball.

Mrs Brown said many of the school staff was on lo­cal hockey teams, and plans had al­ready been made for a scratch-match one day af­ter school.

“There is a lit­tle bit of ri­valry so they have al­ready or­gan­ised a game to try out the new turf, which should be in­ter­est­ing,” she said.

The courts were funded jointly by the school and the school’s P&C com­mit­tee.

Pic­ture: Mary Meagher

Ash­ton Dah­men, 11, Allyssa Free­man, 11, and Lor­rence Ben­nell, 11, en­joy the new bas­ket­ball court at O’Con­nor Pri­mary School.

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