Sports: Bishop’s University Small Ball Program
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.