The final touches are underway to upgrade the basketball court at Len Harlen Park, the final action in the Hoops in Parks programme in Flaxmere, ahead of it continuing into Hastings and Havelock North parks next.
The initiative was a first for New Zealand, with Hastings District Council teaming up with Basketball New Zealand, Basketball Hawke’s Bay and Sport Hawke’s Bay to trial making shooting hoops more accessible for the community.
The first phase of the trial saw courts created at Ron Georgi Park III and Flaxmere Park, and the Len Harlen refurbishment includes re-surfacing and linemarking the existing court, and the re-positioning of the existing hoop. Basketball NZ is hoping to secure funding for a new hoop for the park later this year.
Flaxmere councillor Peleti Oli said the new courts had been a real hit, and meant a hoop was within 10 minutes walking distance for most people in Flaxmere.
“These basketball courts have been really popular – there’s people of all ages out there using them.
“It really helps having them so close to people’s homes in our parks so they’re easy to get to – it’s been a great initiative.”
Basketball Hawke’s Bay general manager Nick Hogan said the organisation’s vision was to have a basketball in the heart of every neighbourhood, and the Hoops in Parks project had accelerated this.
“We want our communities to be active and enjoy sport in their own way and community hoops like those that have been installed allow everyone to access basketball when they want to and however they might want to.
“We are thrilled to have been able to collaborate with the other parties on this pilot project in Flaxmere and we looking forward to the other rollouts that are planned in Hawke’s Bay while also watching similar projects nationwide.”
30 May 2022
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