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Basketball Success And Skills In Manukau

Media Release
12 September 2002

Basketball Success And Skills In Manukau

Tall Blacks – We Believe Too!

You’ve watched the Tall Blacks on television and enjoyed their stunning success at the World Basketball Championships. So how can you jump on the basketball bandwagon and learn new skills or sharpen up existing ones?

Manukau City Council’s leisure centres offer a range of basketball programmes – for the young Tall Blacks of the future and for the ‘young at heart’.

Tania Hunter is the junior development officer for Counties Manukau Basketball and runs the basketball programme at Manurewa Leisure Centre. She runs three programmes for young basketballers which keep her extremely busy all week.

“Hoop Troop is our coaching programme for 5 to 15 years olds on Thursday nights. This runs for nine weeks in term four at a cost of $25. McDribbler Basketball gives the kids game time on Friday evenings for the under sevens, under nines and under twelves, and on Wednesday nights for under fourteens. This competition runs for all of term four and costs $15, plus a one-off affiliation fee.

“Then we have our Women’s League which will be held on Tuesday nights for eight weeks beginning on 8 October. This is a competitive league for those under 20 years of age. The cost is $20,” says Tania.

“We want to get our kids more active, healthier and enjoying sport. You can be of any skill level and our focus is definitely on having fun. We hope that by introducing kids and youth to fun exercise at a young age, they will continue to be active and healthy in later life. The health and confidence benefits for the individual also benefit our communities,” she says

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Tania is also Basketball New Zealand’s coach for the national Koru Under 16 girls team. To add to all that, all of the Counties Manukau representative age group teams train at the Manurewa Leisure centre. Centre manager, Craig Rouse, says that the calibre of staff across Council’s leisure unit has resulted in three staff coaching age group teams.

The under fourteen girls team is coached by Maria and Sam Noon. Maria is an ex-New Zealand Tall Fern and Auckland and Counties-Manukau player. Sam is Council’s leisure planner. He was awarded “Coach of the Year 2000” for the Counties-Manukau Women’s Team and has also coached the NZ Maori Development Team.

The under sixteen girls team is coached by Georgie Witehira who also manages the Moana-Nui-A-Kiwa Leisure Centre in Mangere. Georgie has been a representative player and is a force behind basketball in the Counties-Manukau area.

“There is huge basketball talent here in Manukau,” says Tania. “We have players who have reached national honours at both junior and senior level. We’ve just held the Koru development and national trials. Players will find out at the end of the month if they have been successful. Counties-Manukau was represented at all age group levels.”

Recently Counties-Manukau Basketball held their Under Fourteen Skills Clinic from which three girls and three boys were selected to attend a national weekend camp in Wellington. The high calibre of player skills was evident and the successful basketballers were Leigh Patai, Daysha Jones, Te Rina Noon, Joshua Tuaiti, Maahia Nathan, and Storme Edwards (the youngest player at age 11).

Coming up on the 19th of October is a chance for the Under Twelves to strut their stuff at their own Clinic. Register for the one day clinic at 9.30am on the day at the Allan Brewster Recreation Centre. Cost is $40 which includes lunch. Children will receive coaching in basic basketball fundamentals, along with their own basketball and t-shirt.

And don’t forget Manukau City Council libraries and leisure units are running a sports promotion for Manukau youth in September.

Borrowing a sports books from a Manukau library or signing up for a social sports team or coaching clinic at a Manukau leisure centre in September will give people the chance to win. Prizes of sports books are up grabs. See your local library, leisure centre or Council’s website for details


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