Junior basketballers play premierships at arena
The Palmerston North Basketball Association is anticipating an influx of around 600 young students at the end of next month.
Teams from the lower North Island are descending on Palmerston North for Basketball New Zealand’s Junior Premierships, to be held for the first time at Arena Manawatu from August 29 to September 1.
Palmerston North Basketball operations manager Helen Richardson anticipates up to 30 boys’ and 20 girls’ teams, comprising year 9 and 10 students, will take part.
‘‘It’s very important for youngsters to experience championships like this as it gives them the impetus to carry on through the age group competitions,’’ she says.
‘‘Playing in a tournament is different from Friday night basketball. It’s a different environment. They’ll play two games a day and have the chance to watch and evaluate other teams.’’
Richardson says a number will go on to play in the Secondary School Premiership which starts at Arena Manawatu on September 2.
Basketball is the most popular leisure sport at school because it can be played anytime when there’s a break from teaching, she says.
Basketball New Zealand is organising the junior premierships with Richardson and her committee of eight running it on a daily basis.
‘‘Arena Manawatu is one of the best venues in New Zealand to host the tournament because everything is under one roof.’’