Basketball competition expands

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Sport Southland connecting communities lead adviser Gareth Scott and South Alive community co-ordinator Nikki Aaron are encouraging children and young people to join in the fun at the 3X3 Youth Basketball Competition, which starts with a showcase on Friday, October 27.

THE 3X3 Youth Basketball Competition has grown to cater for primary school-aged children, as well as teenagers.

Hosted by South Alive, Sport Southland and Sport Down South, the free competition which was introduced last year had proved so popular it was decided to expand the age groups to accommodate more players this year.

Sport Southland connecting communities lead adviser Gareth Scott said because Sport Down South sport motivator Sonya Manaena was also part of the organising team this year, the primary school-aged section would have more of a focus.

“Having Sonya as a sport motivator was a great opportunity for the younger children to be involved, as well as the older youth.”

South Alive community co-ordinator Nikki Aaron said the five-week competition, which begins with a showcase on Friday, October 27, was “all about promoting community engagement and fitness for children and young people”.

Aaron said people didn’t have to register this year. They could simply turn up with a team on the night. If they were not part of a team, they were also welcome, as teams would also be made up on the night.

“We are more focused on young people taking part and participation, so are encouraging anyone who wants to join in the competition to come along and take part.”

The competition was divided into two age brackets; primary school-aged children, from Years 3-6, will play from 4.30pm-6.30pm, and Years 7-13 from 6pm until the games finished.

“Even if young people have left school, they are more than welcome to take part,” Aaron said.

Each game would be run as a round-robin, with teams of three players competing in fast-paced, 10-minute contests.

And as a bonus, anyone who was part of a team could also join in for the barbecue food afterwards, Aaron said.

“And we will also be giving away spot prizes.”

For spectators, a pop-up stadium which could seat 40 people would be installed beside South Alive’s half basketball court in South Invercargill before the end of the month. It would be removed after the competition, Scott said.

The winning team at the end of the series will be announced at the Night Food Markets at the adjoining South Alive Community Park, on the corner of Ness and Grace Sts, on Friday, November 24.

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