It has never been more apparent to me than now that there is a crying out for youth basketball in the Corner Brook area.
As coach of the G.C. Rowe Grade 7 girls’ basketball team, the girls and I held a basketball camp this past weekend. It was originally set for Grade 6 boys and girls, but as the camp approached and there were open spots available we accepted a few younger participants.
In all, 18 aspiring basketball players came to Humber Elementary and spent a long day with us learning to dribble, pass, shoot, play defence, and even had a few scrimmages to round it all out. It wasn’t as much the number of participants who attended that enforced the need for more of this in the area — I expected more, to tell you the truth, but I was told the timing of the holidays and the storm before the Christmas break that affected my ability to get the flyers distributed through all the schools — but the reaction of the young players and their parents.
The campers were eager to learn, even more eager to play. They listened extremely well, followed instructions to the tee, and even progressed their skills throughout the day. They laughed and had fun, I bet not even knowing that they worked pretty hard. Well, unless you count the next day, when according to one parent, his son was pretty stiff and sore the next morning. I must have done something right, the father said. That’s what I like to hear.
It was also what I heard from the parents. Their kids are looking for such opportunities. The school programs are starting later all the time and, in some cases, not as effective as they should be. I say that in terms of what the kids take away from it — a lot of times that revolves around their enjoyment of the sport.
I tried to teach them the fundamentals of basketball, but in a way that they have fun. When the kids tell me themselves, out of the blue, that they learned a lot, that’s plenty enough for me.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, it’s time to start up a youth basketball program. We have the facility at the Pepsi Centre Annex, we just need the will and the effort to get it done. The same can be said about many sports, it’s time to rally together and make this a great place for sports for our youth.