Ju­nior bas­ket­ballers play pre­mier­ships at arena

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY! -

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.’’

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