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Passion for grass roots basketball earns local hero award


Passion for grass roots basketball earns local hero award

Turuki Healthcare

Seeing an athlete’s beaming smile after getting their first ever basket keeps coach Peter Josephs committed to grass roots basketball. This commitment now sees him earning a Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year award.

Mr Josephs provides free basketball sessions for the Mangere community on Sundays. He compliments this with helping at the Southside Assist basketball holiday programme at De La Salle College and coaching for the Auckland Jaguars Club for Auckland Basketball Services Ltd. Mr Josephs sees a need to provide for the ever-growing numbers taking up basketball, especially with fundamental skills. “I decided to dedicate myself to the grass roots and fundamental space as I believe that’s where I can make the most difference and impact the growth of the game in a positive way” says Mr Josephs.

His work has gained the admiration of collaborators, funders and families alike. One such collaborator is Te Puea Winiata of Turuki Health, who received funding from the Te Pae Herenga o Tāmaki fund for the Mangere community basketball sessions. “I have seen the way he is with those who do his programme. He has such a committed, passionate but caring way with the kids that sees them and their families return again and again. We couldn’t be happier to collaborate with him, Rep FM and Kiwi Daddys to provide this programme for kids of Mangere and their families. For him to be recognised as a local hero is just so fitting” says Mrs Winiata.

Parents Papa Nahi and Piripi Menary have witnessed the positive change in their son Maioha after going through Mr Joseph’s training with Auckland Jaguars and Southside Assist. “Our son has a reason to get up every day now with a bounce in his step. He dreams of a future in the sport. When a kid starts planning and training day to day for something and thinking ahead positively about their future, you just can’t beat that”.

Although at first reluctant about praise Mr Josephs humbly receives his award tonight in Mangere in the hope it shines a light on the benefits of healthy communities and building a basketball culture in this country. “There is a shortage of dedicated basketball facilities in New Zealand which means we often have to compete for court time and charge parents for each and every training session. Consequently some kids miss out. My personal goal is to have a dedicated facility in South Auckland within two years to deliver programmes for anyone and to collaborate with like-minded people and organisations. No one gets left out. If it can be ingrained into our culture, we will produce world class talent, but also opportunities for all of us to enjoy the game at any level”.


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