Sports: Bishop’s Univer­sity Small Ball Pro­gram

Stanstead Journal - - SPORTS - Len­noxville, Sher­brooke

Small Ball bas­ket­ball pro­gram, founded in 2001, has been a Satur­day morn­ing sta­ple at the John H. Price Re­cre­ation and Sports Cen­tre for over a decade. Run ev­ery fall and win­ter by mem­bers of the Bishop’s Univer­sity Men’s and Women’s Bas­ket­ball teams, Small Ball in­tro­duces the game of bas­ket­ball to chil­dren ages 5 to 12, in a fun and nur­tur­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

The pro­gram was the brain­child of long-serv­ing women’s bas­ket­ball as­sis­tant coach Nathalie Boucher, the in­tent be­ing to raise money for the team while also giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity. The pro­gram had hum­ble be­gin­nings, with only a few par­tic­i­pants in its first few years, when it was run ex­clu­sively by the women’s pro­gram. But through word of mouth and grad­ual im­prove­ments to the pro­gram it­self, the pop­u­lar­ity of Small Ball has blos­somed into one of the most pop­u­lar sports ac­tiv­i­ties for young chil­dren in Len­noxville, with over 40 kids tak­ing part each se­mes­ter.

To­day, both the Men’s and Women’s teams run the pro­gram, of­fer­ing two ten-week ses­sions, one dur­ing the Fall and an­other dur­ing the Win­ter se­mes­ter at Bishop’s Univer­sity. The high­light of the pro­gram for most of the par­tic­i­pants is a spe­cial ses­sion when the Small Ball play­ers get to play a game dur­ing half­time at a Bishop’s Gaiters home game.

Small Ball has helped so­lid­ify the spe­cial bond that ex­ists be­tween Gaiters Ath­let­ics and the lo­cal com­mu­nity. By in­still­ing all of the pos­i­tive things that sport has to of­fer–con­cepts like team­work, fair play, fo­cus, and a good work ethic–the pro­gram helps the young par­tic­i­pants im­prove not only their bas­ket­ball skills, but their life skills as well.

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