Karratha half-court to double basketball fun
A portable basketball half-court will be making its way around Karratha, Roebourne and Wickham over the next three months on a local drive to promote a popular new version of the sport.
Karratha Basketball Association last month took Basketball WA up on its offer and borrowed four half-courts in a move it is hopde will get people playing the 3x3 style of basketball which has been taking the sport by storm across the world.
The court will be featured at community events and at the centre of pop-up tournaments in the wider City of Karratha area to be used by interested adults and children.
KBA president Cassie Perry said the committee hoped the half-court would increase opportunities for residents to play basketball by reducing costs and allowing for more time flexibility.
“It’s a new initiative — it’s really big in Europe, the US and Asia and it’s now part of the Olympics,” she said.
“It’s street ball and just another arm of basketball that we really wanted to bring to the kids.
“It makes it more affordable for kids that possibly couldn’t be playing basketball that we really want playing (the sport).”
Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Esperance are the only other regional areas that have used the Basketball WA half-courts so far, but a six-week trial is planned for Collie later this year.
Basketball WA chief executive Rob Clement said loaning out half-courts was part of a strategy to promote 3x3 in WA and take basketball “back to the streets”.
“Three-by-three is now in the Olympics, in 2020, and Australia has been a bit behind the eight ball in developing it in this country,” he said.
“We wanted to get a different facility to provide kids with that different product.”
“Three-by-three has very much a streetball, urban feel.
“We wanted to take basketball back to the community and by having these mobile courts we can drop them in anywhere.”
Mr Clement praised the KBA for taking the initiative to loan a half-court and trial 3x3 events locally.
Predicting 3x3 will be a local hit, the KBA’s long-term aim is to buy its own half-court and will be using most of this court’s appearances to raise funds towards that.
Ms Perry said one of the priorities was re-engaging children in community life.
“It’s a really good way to promote our sport and get the kids off the street,” she said.
“That is one of the big drivers behind KBA trying to get the kids from Roebourne and Karratha that are starting to go in the wrong direction — we want to bring them back and make school important for them and basketball seems to be a really good tool for that.”
The court requires a truck and forklift to transport and takes about two hours to set up or pack down.
Its first outing will be at the Karratha City Markets on Saturday night, when the community will be welcome to give the new surface a test run.
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